Thursday, October 5, through Sunday, October 15
Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, 600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo IL
A Tony and Olivier Award-winning drama lauded by The Guardian as "sparkling and suspenseful," acclaimed author Conor McPherson's The Seafarer makes its area debut at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre during the play's October 5 through 15 run, this genre-melding 2006 work inspiring the New York Times to rave that "as unlikely as it sounds, The Seafarer may just be the pick-me-up play of the season."
Earning Great Britain's Olivier Award and Evening Standard Awards for Best Play, McPherson's The Seafarer opens as James “Sharky” Harkin has returned home at Christmastime to take care of his brother Richard, a freewheeling soul who is also an overbearing alcoholic. Richard has recently gone blind, he lives to drink, and he urges Sharky to drink as well, even though Sharky has promised himself he would remain sober for the holidays. The brothers and two of their friends, Ivan and Nicky, consequently gather on Christmas Eve for a game of poker, and one of the pals brings a newcomer, the elegantly dressed Mr. Lockhart. Yet this surprise guest, it turns out, causes the game's stakes to be raised ever-higher, leading Sharky to realize that he may be playing for his very soul. A moving drama with numerous elements of dark comedy, The Seafarer garnered four Tony Award nominations for its Broadway run in 2008: for Best Play, two for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Conleth Hill and ultimate winner Jim Norton), and McPherson for Best Director of a Play.
Directing The Seafarer for the Geneseo theatre is Justin Raver, a Richmond Hill veteran who helmed last year's production of Leaving Iowa and has been seen on-stage in productions including All My Sons, Escanaba in da Moonlight, and Death of a Salesman. With the role of Sharky enacted by Matthew McConville, a frequent Geneseo performer recently seen in A Penny for Your Thoughts, Here Lies Jeremy Troy, and Clue: On Stage, the drunken Richard is portrayed by Gary Talsky (Blithe Spirit, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), and Raver's ensemble is completed by Patrick Kelley as Ivan, Bobby Metcalf as Nicky, and Bruce Carmen as the mysterious Mr. Lockhart. Raver's creative team, meanwhile includes stage manager Leslie Day, sound designer Larry Lord, light designer/co-sound designer/booth operator Jennifer Kingry, set builder Mike Skiles, set painter Dana Skiles, and set builder Jim Skiles.
The Seafarer makes its area debut at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre from October 5 through 15, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $12, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)944-2244 and visiting RHPlayers.com.