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TORONTO IRISH PLAYERS - J.B. KEANE’S MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY

Date: Thu, Feb 13th, 2020

TORONTO IRISH PLAYERS

PRESENT

J.B. KEANE’S MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY

a story of emigration that never grows old, at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, February 13-February 29.

Many Young Men of Twenty previews on February 13th and runs February 15, February 20-22, and February 27-29, at 8 p.m., with a matinee on February 16 and 23 at 2pm. Tickets are:

· PWYC ($15 minimum) on February 13th

· February 14th is a private performance hosted by Ireland Park Foundation, www.irelandpark foundation.com.

· All other performances $27 for regular tickets and $25 for Seniors & Students

Though written in the early 1960s, Keane's character-driven play is just as relevant today: issues of emigration, alcoholism, status of women, and politics are dealt with in spirited and humorous ways. Follow Danger Mullaly, Peg Finnerty, Tom Hannigan, and other characters in Hannigan's pub as they see prospective emigrants passing through on their way to the train station to begin their journey to England. Woven throughout with music, ballads, and songs, the play takes an often poignant and funny look at the harsh conditions that forced people to emigrate in the early 1960’s, as well as the reasons that kept people at home.

Tom: I could almost hear the voices of the boy an’ girls goin’ away.

Peg: I feel the same thing every mornin’ I hear that oul’ train whistlin’.

At the heart of the play is Peg Finnerty, a young single mother abandoned by her child’s father, who yearns for something more than the small town of Kielty is willing to offer, but who knows that she can’t leave her son or take him with him to a place like London. Many young men of twenty are drawn to Peg, but who will win the heart of this independent songbird?

Canada is a country shared by people from many different lands who have had to face the same choices that the characters in this play face. Indeed, most of this cast of 17 and the design team and crew that support them have done the same – some twenty years ago, some mere months ago. The play is notable for its authentic emotions that speak across generations.

Many Young Men of Twenty is produced by Diane Flanagan and Maureen Lukie, and is directed by Greg Breen and Tim O’Connell. This marks the theatrical directing debut for this team. Greg Breen, hailing from Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin, has an extensive background in film, as well as early training in theatre. Tim O’Connell, whose family back in Listowel, Ireland were part of J.B. Keane’s social circle, has acted in several Toronto Irish Players productions, as well as productions for Scarborough Theatre Guild, Theatre Aurora and South Simcoe Theatre. His own parents met in London as young Irish emigrants driven to look for work.

Set design is by Sean Tracey and Tim O’Connell, costume design by Bernadette Hunt, sound design by Dan Schaumann and lighting design by Karlos Griffith.

The cast of Many Young Men of Twenty includes Aoibhinn Finnegan, Thomas O’Neill, Martin McGuane, Aaron Walsh, Donna O’Regan, Emmet Leahy, James Phelan, David Eden, Tina McCulloch, Anne Harper, William Laxamana, Sofie Jarvis, Liam Keenan, Dan Schaumann, Gemma Healy-Murphy, Orla Quinlan and Emma Darmody.

If you have any questions about Many Young Men of Twenty or Toronto Irish Players please contact Diane Flanagan at media@torontoirishplayers.com.





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