Rosemary Muldoon and Anthony Reilly live on neighboring farms in rural Ireland, where their families have been involved in a long-running squabble over a patch of land. Although Rosemary has supposedly hated Anthony ever since she was six years old and he knocked her down, she is, in fact, secretly in love with him. And though Anthony has refused to consider the possibility of love ever since his first girlfriend rejected him when he was 16, he feels things deeply. Can they break through their self-imposed barriers and find happiness?
Directed by J. Barry Lewis, Outside Mullingar features four actors new to PBD. Nick Hetherington plays Anthony; Kathy McCafferty portrays Rosemary; Patricia Kilgarriff plays Rosemary's mother,
Aoife; and Alex Wipf is Anthony's father, Tony.
Scenic and lighting design are by Paul Black, costume design is by Leslye Menshouse, sound design is by Steve Shapiro, and the dialect coach is Ben Furey.
Shanley, a native New Yorker, had never wanted "to be labeled an Irish-American writer," he wrote in an article in The New York Times shortly before Outside Mullingar opened on Broadway in 2014. But he claimed his identity when he accompanied his father to Ireland in 1993, and visited with relatives at the farm in the Irish Midlands where his dad was born and raised. "When I sat with my father in that farm kitchen, the one that he had grown up in, and listened to my Irish family talk, I recognized that this was my Atlantis, the lost and beautiful world of my poet's heart. There was no way to write about the farm, yet I had to write about it." But it would be almost 20 years before he finally did. Outside Mullingar has been called his finest play since Doubt.
John Patrick Shanley has written more than 40 plays and 10 screenplays. He won the
Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play for Doubt in 2005, and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Moonstruck in 1988. He directed and wrote the screenplay for the film version of Doubt. His latest play, Prodigal Son, which he also directed, opened to considerable acclaim off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in February, and was recently extended.