Elmira College Theatre Presents Original Play by John Kelly
Elmira, NY (03/18/2019) — Elmira College Theatre continues its 2018-2019 season with an original play by EC Theatre Professor, John J. Kelly, entitled GRÀ - a selkie tale. Performances are scheduled March 28-30 at 8:00 p.m., with a matinee March 31 at 2:00 p.m. in Watson Arena at Elmira College.
Some one hundred years ago in Leenaun, on Ireland's western coastline, lived Conor Fitzgerald and his daughter Fallon. Conor's wife, Bridgid, was tragically lost at sea seven years ago. Each day Conor mourns her loss - staring out to the sea from dangerous high cliffs. He knows of the lore of the selkie - a mythical being half seal, half the soul of a loved one lost at sea. And seals have arrived in Leenaun.
Suddenly a woman appears in the town. She does not speak, does not know her name. No one knows her - who she is, or what she is. Taking the name Grá (meaning "love" in Irish), she is taken in by Conor's sister-in-law Aileen and soon becomes a favorite of most of the family, especially Fallon. Only Maureen, Conor's aunt, has reservations about the newcomer.
Conor is entranced by Grá. The pair take daily strolls round the countryside. Love naturally follows. But Maureen discovers a seal skin… a skin that calls Grá. Part of her longs for the love of Conor and Fallon, while another part aches for the ever-present sea.
Maureen confronts Grá with the skin. She forces the woman to consider the future - a future which may well include marriage, but might also bring pain and suffering to those she loves should the call of the sea prove overwhelming. Grá chooses to leave, hoping to bring as little misery and hurt to those she cares for as possible. She disappears without a trace.
The Elmira College Theatre production of GRÀ - a selkie tale features Alex Garey as Conor Fitzgerald, Annabeth McGovern as Aileen, Kailey Gee as Fallon, Zekiel Cammarata as Brannon, Sadie Kennett as Maureen, and Rachel Feltz as GRÀ. The production was written, directed and designed by John J. Kelly, with Margaret Kasper Reed as assistant director, lighting design by Rebecca Cook, and sound and projections by George de Falussy. Scott McGuire serves as Technical Director, with Stage Management by Emma Faunce, assisted by Julissa Garcia. The performances also include live music by The Dolans.
The March performance marks the final Elmira College production for Theatre Professor, John Kelly, who will retire following this production. Kelly has been teaching theatre and directing theatre productions at Elmira since 2006, staging over 50 works including musicals (Urinetown, The Wedding Singer, etc.), comedies (Sylvia, Scapino, etc.), and dramas (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Phaedra, etc.) Special charity performances, sponsored in connection with the Chemung County Sunrise Rotary Club and the Arnot Art Museum, have featured other original works by Kelly.
"It has been my pleasure - and I truly mean pleasure - to be able to work with so many wonderfully talented students during my time at EC," said Kelly. "To be honest, the cast and crew of this production will forever remain one of my favorites among oh so many."
All Elmira College Theatre productions are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8:00 p.m., with matinees at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.