Saturday, January 24, 2009
"The Jolly Good Fellows" Head to New York
THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS, a new play by Steve Feffer, playwriting professor at Western Michigan University and the Whole Art Theater’s resident playwright, and Tucker Rafferty, artistic director of the Whole Art Theater, will be produced in New York City, Friday, May 29th through Monday, June 1st at the Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas being produced by New York’s Untitled Theatre Company #61 (http://www.untitledtheater.com/). THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS will perform at the 99 seat Mint Theatre, located at 43rd Street and 8th Avenue, in the heart of the city’s theatre district. Under the direction of Western Michigan University theatre professor Mark Liermann, who will direct the New York production, THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS was recently read as part of the Whole Art Theater’s second annual New Play Festival.
THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS is a fifty-minute play set in the 1890s that tells the story of David Green and Michael Harrigan, two actors that make their living performing a stereotypical “Jew” and “Irishman” in the grotesque ethnic performances that were popular in the concert saloons and variety theatres of the day.
A darkly comedic tale, THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS is based loosely on a pair of actors from the time, exploring how these two very different American immigrants enter into a contract of convenience to keep up with the changing times, and then later, the cost that such performances inflicts upon them personally and socially. The play also includes songs and sketches from the period.