Stephen Rea and Playhouse Patrons Field Day take centre stage in New York after Playhouse Premiere

Posted on: 9th October 2014

Following the success of the world première in The Playhouse in Derry last year, Field Day is delighted to announce that it has teamed up with the renowned Signature Theatre to present Sam Shepard's "A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)" in New York from 11 November - 21 December 2014.

Acclaimed stage and screen actor Stephen Rea, who founded Field Day with Brian Friel in 1980, will reprise his role as Oedipus alongside other members of the original cast, including actors Brid Brennan, Judith Roddy, Lloyd Hutchinson and composer and cellist Neil Martin.

Field Day will rehearse and perform with Signature Theatre, a prolific and award-winning theatre company on 42nd Street New York which shares Field Day's commitment to the development of playwrights and new writing. "A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)" will have an initial run of six weeks, previewing from 11 November with a star-studded gala opening planned for 23 November 2014.

Stephen Rea said: "It's exciting that Field Day is travelling to America for the first time, with a new work by the great American playwright Sam Shepard, and a real honour to be working with New York's Signature Theatre to bring this production to an international audience. The play was specifically written for Derry, where Sam walked the walls every day of rehearsals. Derry is alive and embedded in this highly original conversation with the Greeks, offering us, I believe, a very special moment in English speaking theatre."

James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director of Signature Theatre, said "We are so grateful to be collaborating with Stephen Rea and Field Day and to host the company in its American debut. For over thirty years now, Field Day has been dedicated to chronicling and reflecting the complex history of Northern Ireland; their work is essential, and we are thrilled to present this rich play that the great Sam Shepard has written for them. Sam has been part of the Signature family since our 1996-97 season devoted to his work, and to have him return again with this collaboration is such an exciting opportunity for our audiences."

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, which is supporting Field Day's visit to New York through its Professional Arts Abroad funding programme, said: "Under the creative direction of Stephen Rea and Brian Friel, Field Day holds a particularly significant place in the history of Northern Ireland theatre. Nurturing and championing creative talent is at the heart of what they do, always upholding the very highest standards of artistic quality to produce consistently innovative and challenging new work. As ambassadors for Northern Ireland arts we wish Field Day all the very best, knowing New York audiences will have much to look forward to this November."

Pauline Ross, Founder and Director at The Playhouse said "It was such an honour to host Field Day's triumphant return to the city as part of Derry~Londonderry's massive cultural offering as UK City of Culture 2013. The longstanding contribution they have made to the theatre of this city is so renowned and important. As our patrons, to have Field Day working in our building on this powerful and utterly captivating piece felt like a homecoming of sorts, and we're delighted that they will now carry and transport this work from our city, to the American stage."

"A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)" is legendary American writer Sam Shepard's highly original take on the story of Oedipus, the mythical King whose tragic tale was first dramatised by Sophocles two thousand years ago. This Ancient Greek classic is re-imagined as a modern thriller set in the desert of the American West and was one of the highlights of the 2013 Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture programme. The production is directed by award-winning American director Nancy Meckler, with costumes and set by Irish designers Lorna Mugan and Frank Conway. A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations) runs at Signature Theatre, 42nd Street, New York from 11 November - 21 December 2014.


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