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Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney” Was Inspired by a True Story Chronicled in a Scientific Article by Oliver Sachs

"Molly Sweeney" opens on Sept. 29th at Burning Coal Theatre

"Molly Sweeney" opens on Sept. 29th at Burning Coal Theatre

Burning Coal Theatre Company, in collaboration with The Delta Boys, will present the Raleigh premiere of Molly Sweeney, a prize-winning play written by 82-year-old Irish dramatist and director Brian Friel, as part of its “Wait Til You See This!” second-stage series. Directed by Kathryn Milliken LeTrent and staged managed by Andy Hayworth, the play will run Sept. 29-Oct. 2 and Oct. 6-9 in Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School, adjacent to the Historic Oakwood Section of downtown Raleigh, NC.

After premiering in August 1994 at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Molly Sweeney had its American premiere Off Broadway on Dec. 26, 1995 at the Roundabout Theatre, where it won the 1996 Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play, the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play.

According to Burning Coal Theatre Company:

MOLLY SWEENEY: Molly Sweeney [Burning Coal company manager Samantha Corey] has been without sight since she was ten months old. Told by her husband [Delta Boy co-founder Lucius Robinson as Frank Sweeney], her surgeon [Burning Coal regular Stephen LeTrent as Mr. Rice], and by Molly herself, the story of her passage from blindness to sight is a moving meditation on worlds of the sightless, the seeing, and of those lost in-between. Molly Sweeney was written in 1994 and premiered at Dublin’s Gate Theatre before a successfully run at London’s Almeida Theatre in a production starring Catherine Byrne and directed by the playwright. The play’s New York premiere occurred in 1996, at the Roundabout Theatre. The play was inspired by an article written by Oliver Sachs (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) entitled ‘To See and Not See.'”

BRIAN FRIEL: Brian Friel was born in Ireland in 1929. He has written more than 30 plays, including the critically acclaimed Philadelphia, Here I Come! [1964], Faith Healer [1979], Translations [1980], and Dancing at Lughnasa [1990]. He founded the Field Day Theatre Company [in 1980] with frequent collaborator, the actor Stephen Rea.”

Burning Coal Theatre Company, in collaboration with The Delta Boys, presents MOLLY SWEENEY at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2 p.m. Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6-8, and 2 p.m. Oct. 9 in Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.


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The Play: (Wikipedia) and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).

The Playwright: (Wikipedia) and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).


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