A NEW one-act play by Dungarvan native and now Kilkenny resident John Stack has achieved success in preliminary festivals run by the Drama League of Ireland, achieving two firsts and a second placing.
Titled Pictures, the play described as the “cycle of life” in 30 minutes is performed by two actors whose ability and versatility is stretched to the limit in conveying various emotions and changes of character.
Under the banner of the New Heritage Theatre Group, Mr Stack entered the play into preliminary festivals in Goresbridge, Prosperous in County Kildare and Gorey in County Wexford.
Mr Stack has also acted for years with Ballyduff in such works as Death of a Salesman, Antigone, On Raftery’s Hill and The Cripple of Inishmann. In Pictures, he played the role of Brian.
Playing opposite him in the female role was local actress Paula Drohan, who has appeared in works for Watergate Productions including The Loves of Cass Maguire and Lovers and has a long association with Mullinahone playwright Willie Egan, having appeared in his works including The Diamond Spider, The Good to Suffer and The Winter of ’69.
Local actor Brendan Corcoran directed the play, while stage management, lights, sound and makeup were by Sean O’Sullivan, Brendan Maguire and Aisling Maguire.
At the Goresbridge Drama Festival, adjudicator Michael Twomey complimented the playwright’s writing and vision. Both performances were highly praised, as was the direction and simple setting of the piece. Mr Stack and Ms Drohan were short-listed in the best actor and actress category, as was Mr Corcoran in direction. On the final night, Pictures was awarded first place in the confined section.
In Prosperous, adjudicator Paula Dempsey was equally impressed with the acting, direction and staging of the play. She referred to the creativity of the piece and found the play to be powerful and moving. Once again the play’s actors and director were all short-listed for individual awards. Pictures was awarded second place with an adjudicator’s award going to Mr Stack.
In Gorey, adjudicator Anne Maloney O’Driscoll was bowled over by the production and by the two performances. She found the play a most moving, theatrical journey. Mr Corcoran was awarded best director while again the two actors were short-listed for best actress and actor. Pictures was then again awarded first place.
Audience reaction to the play in all three venues has also been very encouraging.