Catherine Gillet is directing “Outside Mullingar” -written by John Patrick Shanley-Tryon Little Theater’s play opening November 9 at the Workshop in Tryon. Gillet is new to the Tryon Little Theater family, but since moving here four years ago, she’s embraced TLT with a passion. She moved from Westchester, NY after having lived in Manhattan for many years where she worked as an artist and a playwright involved with the Circle Repertory Company. When she became a member of their Playwrights Project group, she had the opportunity to study and work with some of the best writers, directors, and actors in the late nineties off-Broadway theater scene.
“I’ve been a fan of John Patrick Shanley for a long time,” says Gillet. “He’s one of those tremendously gifted writers who manages to make the difficult craft of screen and playwriting look effortless.”
Shanley will be remembered for his play “Doubt” which received a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. The movie version, starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, received five Oscar nominations. For his screenplay “Moonstruck”, starring Nicholas Cage and Cher, Shanley received both the Writers Guild Award and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
“Outside Mullingar” was an easy sell for Gillet, she says, because she used a resource similar to that to discover she has family roots in Ireland and has since been there many times.
“The play captures the subtle ‘twinkle in the eye’ humor of the Irish…it’s also an unusual, quirky love story with a hint of the magical which lifts it from its humble farmhouse setting to something sublime and achingly beautiful.”
Shanley writes in the forward to his play, “My father came from Ireland and he had the gift of the gab. Part of the reason the Irish developed the gift of the gab was simple. They lived on an island. They had to get along…so a style of speaking developed that allowed them to say awful things. With charm.”
“Outside Mullingar” runs for two weekends: November 9-16 and November 16-19. Tickets are $16 and $11 for 18 and under. Visit www.tltinfo.org to purchase tickets, or call 828-859-2466 for more information.