€1705/€2000, we are 85% funded!

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With our funding campaign winding up, allow us to thank all our funders. Also many thanks to Caroline Forde, Martha Clancy, Finbarr Biggins, Kate Costello, Sinead Jordan, Aron Hegarty, the students of Trading Faces Stage School and Donnacha McGrath who rounded out the campaign in style. We didn’t make the target, but have come close enough to ensure a successful tour and we hope we can count on continued audience support for this great show!

Hangin’ with Harper part two!

 

At the risk of sounding very silly altogether, I very much think these are interesting roles for myself and Sam, anyway, as they’re very familiar to us, and we’ve both looked at this play in our first year of college and said, now that’s a role I want to play. So getting cast as Harper was unbelievably class.

I dunno, every time I’ve gotten to do Harper and Joe’s scenes with Sam, I’ve always just felt something somewhere click into place, like a door unlocking –though I grant, that would be something peacefully clicking out of place! Sam gets it, whatever it is, and thus I feel like I’m able to catch on. But because these are characters in whose episodes we’ve experienced or witnessed too, all these huge emotions tend to –if you’ll pardon the pun- come out, when we’re rehearsing. (Not that we wouldn’t accept ‘em if they did J). Which means we end up turning into lil’ irritable bitches after long runs, as I’m sure most of the cast witnessed the other day in our first run! –This clicking comes about particularly in fight scenes. The couple bickers often, not because one is ign’nt or getting up in the other’s proverbial grill, but because they just don’t understand one another, and that under pressure to justify a thought, Harper freaks out and tries to escape the conversation, or that Joe simply cannot deal with some topics, as they are very uncomfortable for him, or he has struggled with them for so long. So every time we do these scenes, I end up with this proper-pissed off feeling in my guts that just writhes around my stomach until the next scene, or until we get a breather.

The last rehearsal we had, I don’t know why, but in our scene where we have a very small argument, that becomes a big argument and Harper gets upset, I just started getting madder and madder, and played her like a bull, for the whole thing. It’s funny, how the character comes out when we’re going the scene tends to be as diverse as how she actually acts in the play. For how predictable her swings in and out of her mind and reality are, the type of catharsis is quite unpredictable.

So I read in Sam’s blog –and who’m I kiddin’ I’ve talked the crap out of it with him- that the bit that really resonates with him is the section where Joe is asked outright if he is gay by his wife. So not only does Joe have to deal with the prospect of a sexuality that he believes to be a sin, but also the prospect of disloyalty to his wife, though we can clearly see how hard he struggles to be patient with her, and care for her. But the more I think about it, the more I tend to see Joe’s character as trying to shunt Harper’s problems into a box, and not have to deal with them on a real level, because of how consuming his own problems are. Anyway, what I really got on board with was a scene where we don’t actually argue.

In a moment of sheer comfort between the two, rather than the usual boiling pot that I had come to know as Harper, once Joe’s genuine comfort and attempts to sooth this week’s panic were voiced, I found the tenderness between them very hard to handle. The whole scene became very sad as her panics of a man being in their bedroom cranked up to an eleven, through her husband’s attempts to sooth her. It was like the branches parted to reveal the reason in her madness –like that scene in Fern Gully, where she parts the branches and he can see all this beautiful Nature and such. Yup. That scene. I realised the reason why she wasn’t “just crazy”, as no one is. She is traumatised. After the life she had been through, that is very briefly suggested throughout the text, I saw the connection in one particular hallucination of hers, and figured out the root of it. I couldn’t decided what was worse: trying to listen to Joe apologise and hear him say this was all his fault… or knowing that it was actually slightly true. At this point, I burst into tears, and didn’t stop until the end of the scene. Kushner’s a feckin’ powerhouse. What fantastic dialogue. There are these beautiful exchanges, that when you read in your head sound a little (don’t shoot me) pretentious, but once you find the heart of it, these character’s just break your own in two. Some lines in particular are just so simple, and so effective. I won’t give any more away.

One scene I was watching with Chris and Mr. Quinners, was just gut wrenching the other day. It’s just the perfect study of the affection between lovers when they’re put through hell. Or the effect of hellish experiences on lovers years later? I don’t know. It’s just really fucking good. I started asking myself were Joe and Harper some twisted insight into Louis and Prior’s future? Another one is Joe Power’s character, Roy. There are some sinkers of lines in two of his scenes, where the character is just completely rendered. I find myself feeling around in the dark, until I come across one or two lines and it’s like the play has just grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me with the answers to what I was asking!

So to sum up… wow, I’ve said a lot. Should I even add a summing up? Those of you who have made it this far, have clearly earned the benefit of the doubt of having read this much!

We’ve some beautiful scenes and bits to show you when you finally get to see it. Even to some fellow actors, I really dig getting to see scenes that have been looked at that I haven’t gotten to see. It’s like getting to watch the video, where you know what’s gonna happen in it, but not how!

Anyway, to sum up (I’ve decided that yes, I will sum up) Harper’s grand, Kushner’s great and the play’ll be a scream! 😀

 

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€1570/€2000. We are 79% funded!

W3 (edit)Many thanks to Morgane Clarke, Patrick O’Byrne, Yvonne Lydon, Frank Blake, Charlotte Farrar, Patricia Hehir, who have taken us all the way to 79% funded! We are so close to being fully funded before the campaign closes on Thursday.

Opening night for Angels in America is tomorrow! Contact ThereisBear! at thereisbeartheatre@gmail.com to claim your rewards, tickets and souvenirs!

Meet our Crew!

Darragh O’Brien

This is Darragh's first project as Director. He previously played David Blaney in ThereisBear!'s production of The Last Burning.

This is Darragh’s first project as Director. He previously played David Blaney in ThereisBear!’s production of The Last Burning.

Muireann Ni Raghallaigh

This is Muireann's third production with ThereisBear!

Muireann is Producer and Stage Manager on Angels in America. This is Muireann’s third project with ThereisBear!

Susan Collins

Susan Collins provided light and magic for our Campaign Video. This is Susan's first production with ThereisBear!

Susan Collins provided light and magic for our Campaign Video. This is Susan’s first production with ThereisBear!

Susan Collins became suddenly and thoroughly involved in theatre lighting six months ago. Once down the rabbit-hole, she found theatre tech to be a very welcoming place where you can combine awesome electrical tinkering with the ability to colour-in with dramatic beams of light. It’s like playing with giant crayons.

In the hectic half-year since, she has lit an assortment of productions for NUIG Dramsoc, as well as shows for the NUIG Theatre and Muscailt festivals. Her lighting design work on Seduced received one of NUIG Dramsoc’s two nominations for Best Lighting at this year’s Irish Student Drama Association awards.

This is the first time Susan has worked with ThereisBear!; she’s looking forward to a busy, hilarious, touching, exhausting, satisfying tour.

In her spare moments, Susan is completing a PhD in Astrophysics at the Centre for Astronomy, NUIG.

Brian O’Brien

Brian O'Brien shot and edited our Campaign Video. Click here to see it!

Brian O’Brien shot and edited our Campaign Video. Click here to see it!

Brian O Brien is a Third Year BA Connect With Film Studies student in NUIG. He has made several trailers for NUIG Dramsoc over the academic year: Never Trust a Smile (2012), Twelfth Night (2013), a documentary on the Laramie Project production (2013), and won a Societies Award for the trailer for GUMS’ production of RENT(2013)

He directed his first short film in Feburary 2013, and is currently preparing it for the Galway Film Fleadh. Of all his promotional work, His video for Thereisbear!’s Angels in America is his most ambitious. He is currently the auditor of Filmsoc, and has plans involving every talented person he ever meets!

Hangin’ with Harper

So, somewhere amidst 4-10 hour shifts at work and final year exam study, I have been attempting to be in a play called Angels in America, as the character of Harper Pitt, and lemme tell ya… it is something’.

I play the “sex-depraved, pill-popping housewife” of Sam Ferry’s character Joe, a married mormon struggling with his sexuality, and his feelings about it all –which makes the whole thing sound very like one of those after-school black and white informational videos shown to high school students of the 60s. Something of a very “don’t sass me when I’m telling you to wear a condom after the sock-hop, son” ilk. But it’s actually pretty great, and very raw.

I guess I’d like to talk a little bit about playing Harper, even though it feels like quite a jip, seeing as the project has to go on the back burner in the build up to the end of the semester. So, although the play deals heavily with homosexuality, in a time when many people didn’t believe it was a “real”, I feel that characters like Harper or Louis and Sister Ella Chapter for example, can tend to be overlooked because their key points in the plot is not their sexuality (in my opinion anyway, but what do I know? I can go suck a lemon!). If Harper was the protagonist of the piece, we’d be dealing with a play centred on anxiety, and the mental effects things can have on one’s life. A very relevant topic for me. Anyone who’s dealt with me on a very personal level after about a year or two, will know how prone I am to worrying about stuff, and how panicked I can get about something not going down well, or at all. Also having a sister who has mental illness, that I do find familiar in Harper’s episodes of stress or hallucinations, I feel that I have a sort of window into her character. I recognise  her when her mind wanders – I happen to have a very wanderous mind myself of conclusion and panic jumping-tos, so I’ve had enough time in my life to think of such episodes, and thus to understand hers.

When working on a play, I tend to need work in the housekeeping stuff more than anything. Diction, Pace, Projection, the alphabet of performing that every actor learns and should have as second nature after theatre schooling or play-participating. And I was always a shit student. So I’ve always found the emotion in a character easier to perform, and the rehearsal process becomes a practice for keeping it reigned back, or when to draw it out, all through the lovely tight-rope walk of speaking loudly, clearly and not like an ignorant gom in attempting a language.

…the next edition awaits!

€1295/€2000. We are 65% funded!

7 Days

Boys and Girls we are 6 sleeps from Opening Night! Please keep up your support for our tour so we can bring the best possible show to you. We are getting closer and closer to our target. Help push us over the finish line!

Thanks to Elise Karlsson, John McManus, Leo Quinlan, Laura Hicks, Kori Kilduff and Patricia and Peter Roche we are almost two-thirds on the way now. Check out our Gifts and Rewards to see what our funders have treated themselves to! Gifts include tickets and ThereisBear! Souvenirs.

 

Playtime!

So, the Bears have been unleashed in the town hall.

After a ridiculously stressful few days of construction, prep-stuff, and get-ins… we are finally, finally, performing this bloody good play.

 

 

€845/€2000. We are 42% funded!

14 Days

Thank you to Sarah Hoban, Aoife Spillane-Hinks, Amanda Gareis and Richard Brown, whose help took us over the €800 mark. The fundraising campaign is half over but we have lots left to do! Keep you support up by liking and sharing our blog!

The Last Burning: A quick jog down memory lane, by Martin Kenny

Last summer, Thereisbear! Theatre Company brought Patrick Galvin’s The Last Burning on tour throughout Ireland, performing in various venues across the country: Nun’s Island Theatre in Galway, Cork Arts Theatre in Cork city, St. John’s Theatre in Listowel, Kerry, Canavan’s Pub in Tuam, Hayden’s Hotel in Ballinsloe and Smock Alley in Dublin. The play is based on the final days of Bridget Cleary’s life, the last woman to be burned alive in Ireland under suspicion of witchcraft.

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Muireann Ní Raghallaigh as Bridget Cleary in The Last Burning. Photography by Matt Burke.

As this was Thereisbear!’s first foray into the world of professional theatre, the project that loomed before us presented endless challenges, some of which would have made even seasoned veterans weep. However, with a 14 member strong ensemble, a production team that decreed sleep to be for the weak, all under the guidance of Artistic Director/Director Mama Bear, Hannah O’ Reilly, the old proverb rang true that many hands make light work. I had the honour of being involved in both the cast and production team, as a Villager (not the YMCA type, more the, “I’ll burn you if I don’t trust you” type) and producer of the show.

The entire process kicked off back in May 2012 (exactly a year ago now *sheds tear*) with the casting of our beautiful/handsome actors. In the months that followed, venues were rung, posters were created, a photoshoot in Barna woods was organised, programmes were designed and printed, props were acquired, costume and fabric shops were raided, rehearsals were scheduled, characters were developed and a general mighty fine time was had. Segments from the play were staged at the Volvo Ocean Race in order to spread word of the play, and scenes were also performed at the Galway Arts Centre for the official press release. By August however, the dress rehearsal was (literally) over and the tour was underway.

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Another beaufitul composition from Barna Woods by Matt Burke: the estranged couple, Michael played here by Conor Kennedy-Burke, the mysterious Mr. Blaney played by Darragh O’Brien, and the witches who haunt Bridget.

The opening few shows were fantastic, the audience being full of friends, family and well wishers from Galway. From the instant the tarp was dragged onto stage, “The Hare’s Lament” sung and the soil raked across stage, both cast and audience were transported to another time and place, the insidious and supernatural nature of the play seeping into the air. After a successful home run, the rest of the country encountered the production. Through the tireless dedication of cast and crew (here we must include the ever level-headed Ciara Moyna who was our stage manager for the duration of the tour) in the various get-ins and get-outs, we were able to organise the transport of 18 people and their luggage, costumes, set, soil and other accoutrements, and pack it all into a  hired mini-bus (thanks Seamus!). Sadly, the tour had to come to an end and by the 17th of August 2012, it was time to wipe off the make-up, brush off the soil , pack away the Russian gas mask with horns that served as the severed head of goat, and hop on the bus one last time. The production was a roaring success for the first time outing of Thereisbear!, with acclaim at every stop along the way and Patrick Galvin’s own son and daughter coming to see the show three times.

The tour was an incredible experience, one which has indelibly soaked into my brain and still colours my experience of theatre a year on. Thereisbear!, while producing top-quality productions for audiences all over Ireland, also help to create incomparable memories here in Galway amongst its cast and crew, and continued support of their work will hopefully allow the company to keep doing both.

Break a leg Bears! If The Last Burning is anything to go by, Angels in America will be a blinder.

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The witches had very cold feet all day in Barna Woods, no joke…troopers! Played here by Ruth Darcy, Mary Conroy and Meghan Smyth. Photography again by Matt Burke.

 

ThereisBear! Photos, by Conor Kennedy-Burke :)

ThereisPhotography! Conor has been with us from the start, from the heady days of ThereisBear! prehistory, right back to the first production of The Last Burning with NUIG Dramsoc.

Conor shot the photos of Claudia we’ll be using for the Angels in America poster.

We’re unveiling the poster on the blog later this week. Until then, here’s some of our favourite snaps of Conor’s.

'I put one hand to the crown of my head, and one hand to the sole of my foot, and all between I gave to the devil.'  Jenny O'Donnell as Deirdre in The Last Burning by Patrick Galvin (Dramsoc, 2011)

‘I put one hand to the crown of my head, and one hand to the sole of my foot, and all between I gave to the devil.’
Jenny O’Donnell as Deirdre in The Last Burning by Patrick Galvin (Dramsoc, 2011)

'We prayed that the fruit of Bailey's field would be ours, that thistles and briars would grow there.'  Roísín Lynam as Janet in The Last Burning.

‘We prayed that the fruit of Bailey’s field would be ours, that thistles and briars would grow there.’
Roísín Lynam as Janet in The Last Burning.

'When I leave my house I place a broom in my bed. The broom is shaped to my shape.' Eilish McCarthy as Margaret in The Last Burning, 2011.

‘When I leave my house I place a broom in my bed. The broom is shaped to my shape.’
Eilish McCarthy as Margaret in The Last Burning.

'I have jumped over the fire. The fire is in my womb.' From left to right: back row, Paul O'Mahony, Eilish McCarthy, Hazel Doyle, Roísín Dolan; front row, Jenny O'Donnell, Teresa Brennan, Roísín Lynam.

‘I have jumped over the fire. The fire is in my womb.’
From left to right: back row, Paul O’Mahony, Eilish McCarthy, Hazel Doyle, Roísín Dolan; front row, Jenny O’Donnell, Teresa Brennan, Roísín Lynam.
The Last Burning, Dramsoc, 2011.

Teresa Brennan and Peter Shine as Briget Dolan and David Blaney in The Last Burning (2011)

Teresa Brennan and Peter Shine as Briget Dolan and David Blaney in The Last Burning (2011)

'Blood, Mr. Chokey. Blood.' Peter Shine and Teresa Brennan in The Last Burning.

‘Blood, Mr. Chokey. Blood.’
Peter Shine and Teresa Brennan in The Last Burning.

Conor Quinlan and Ruth Darcy as Nick and Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013)

Conor Quinlan and Ruth Darcy as Nick and Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013)

'...and that's how you play Get the Guests' as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ‘I am George…I am…’
Muireann Ní Raghallaigh as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013)

Playing Joe Pitt, by Sam O’Fearraí

Sam O'Fearraí.

Sam O’Fearraí.

The very first time I read Angels in America, I read and re-read an exchange in the play between Joe and his wife, Harper:

HARPER: Are you a homo?
Are you? If you try to walk out right now I’ll put your dinner back in the oven and turn it up so high the whole building will fill with smoke and everyone in it will asphyxiate. So help me God I will.
Now answer the question.

JOE: What if I…

HARPER: Then tell me, please. And we’ll see.

JOE: No. I’m not.
I don’t see what difference it makes.

I knew then I wanted to play this character someday. When I was sixteen, a friend asked me if I was gay. I stared at her, terrified, for a very long time before I lied.

No.” I said. “No I’m not”.

I hated myself in that moment. I hated my friend even more for putting me in that position. I had told myself that if I was ever asked outright, I wouldn’t deny that I was gay. When it came to it, though, I just didn’t have the courage or the strength to tell the truth.

Sam as Banquo in Dramsoc's Macbeth. Photography by Paul O'Mahony

Sam as Banquo in Dramsoc’s Macbeth. Photography by Paul O’Mahony

I might have very little in common with Joe. He’s married, a lawyer, a Mormon living in New York at the height of the Cold War and the AIDS crisis. His background and worldview are far removed from mine. Nonetheless, I feel for him because we are both liars. We have tried to hide who we are, we’ve hated and tried to crush the part of ourselves meant for love. People might ask what a play about 80s America has to say about life in Ireland in 2013 but in Joe, this all-American boy from Utah, I see my own life, and the life stories of thousands of other Irish men and women reflected.

You don’t have to be gay to recognize yourself in Angels in America. It’s a world in which the old standbys of religion and nation no longer mean anything, where even the idea of a future is distant, dangerous and uncertain. Joe and Harper, Prior and Louis, Roy, Hannah and all the others who live in this world fight for love, hope and their humanity in the face of hideous odds. They are like us. They are us. You can see the abandonment and uncertainty young Irish people face today reflected in their struggles. Like us, they have only each other and, while Angels in America might not offer us solutions, it asks questions we’ll all have to answer.

Playing Joe in Thereisbear! Theatre’s production is important to me for all these reasons but his is only one strand in a complex and amazing story. I’m so excited to be a part of this project and to share this story with all of you across the country. My sincerest thanks to you for all your generosity and support; I’ll see you all in three weeks. 

Sam directed ThereisBear!'s last production: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Sam directed ThereisBear!’s last production: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
From left to right: Sam O’Fearraí, Conor Quinlan, Ruth Darcy, Muireann Ní Raghallaigh.
Photography by Conor Kennedy-Burke.

Meet Our Cast! (3)

Robin Oree

This is Robin's first production with ThereisBear! He is playing Mr. Lies and Belize in Angels in America.

This is Robin’s first production with ThereisBear! He is playing Mr. Lies and Belize in Angels in America.

Robin is currently doing his MA in Human Rights in NUIG. He has been heavily involved in theatre for years. His most recent of many acting credits in both film and on stage include H-Block Prisoner in Behind Bars (Part 3), (Sideline Productions for TV3, 2011), Jamie in Intermentum (Short film) (2011), Hamlet in Hamlet (filmed excerpt from the play, 2011), Himself in Happening (2011), Robert in Proof (NUIG Dramsoc, 2012), Duncan in Macbeth (NUIG Dramsoc, 2013) and Sir Toby in Twelfth Night (NUIG Dramsoc, 2013).

Robin has also written and directed numerous pieces. His directing credits include The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (UCD Dramsoc, 2010), The Vagina Monologues – The Vagina Workshop, The Not-So-Happy Fact (UCD Dramsoc, 2010), Dead Weight (Short film) (UCD Filmsoc, 2010), Sides Of The Case (UCD Dramsoc, 2011), and Meat (NUIG Dramsoc, 2012).

His produced written works include A Lesson In Love From Captain Picard (UCD Dramsoc, 2010), Dead Weight (Short film) (UCD Filmsoc, 2010), Sides Of The Case (UCD Dramsoc, 2011), Meat (NUIG Dramsoc, 2012).

Joseph Power

Joe is playing Roy Cohn in Angels in America.

Joe is playing Roy Cohn in Angels in America.

Joseph Power is a second year Mathematics and Education student from Co. Down. Joseph has appeared in eleven Dramsoc shows including Vincent River (2012), Sive (2012) and their centenary production Twelfth Night (2013). Joseph has also acted in many productions in his hometown including Lovers (2009), Many Young Men of Twenty (2010) and The Odd Couple (2011)

In 2012 Joseph directed the award-winning one-act Laughter is the Best Medicine and produced Philadelphia Here I Come! for Dramsoc in Druid Lane. In 2013, Joseph received a best actor nomination at the Irish Student Drama Festival in Cork for his portrayal of Henry Hackamore in Sam Shepard’s Seduced.

Joseph made a cameo appearance in The Last Burning (ThereisBear! 2012), making this his second production with the company. Joseph is playing Roy Cohn in Angels in America.

Eilish McCarthy

Eilish McCarthy is playing Hannah Porter Pitt, Henry the Doctor and Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz.

Eilish McCarthy is playing Hannah Porter Pitt, Henry the Doctor and Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz.

Eilish is a student of Theatre and Performance in NUIG, who has been very active in drama both in Galway and her home town of Tipperary. Acting credits include Hamlet in Hamlet (Dramsoc, 2012), Dora in Dora, (Sarissa Theatre Company, 2010) and Margaret in The Last Burning, (Dramsoc, 2010). In 2009 she was named best actress in the Jerome Hynes One Act Play series.

Eilish is playing Hannah, the Rabbi and Henry in Angels in America. This is her first production with ThereisBear!

€280/€2000! We are 14% Funded.

14% Keep 'em coming!

14%
Keep ’em coming!

With the help of Eimear Durnin, Aine Cahalan and Matt McDougal we have hit 14% Matt McDougal is our first donor from outside of Ireland. I hope the first of many. Thanks Matt for getting the international ball rolling!

Check out our Gifts for our Funders!

Watch our Campaign Video!

ThereisBear! History Lesson (#1): ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’

In January ThereisBear! brought its second production to the stage in Druid Lane Theatre, Galway. To coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the original production, we staged an ambitious version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. We splashed out on set and, for 4 nights, turned the Druid auditorium into George and Martha’s home.

'Oh you're amused!' Ruth Darcy, Darragh O'Brien, Conor Quinlan and Muireann Ni Raghallaigh in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

‘Oh you’re amused!’
Ruth Darcy, Darragh O’Brien, Conor Quinlan and Muireann Ní Raghallaigh in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Mama Bear Hannah O’Reilly and Joe ‘Very Reliable Bear’ McEvoy combined to design and build our grandest set so far. The design was a beautiful art-deco interior replete with a working gramophone, stacks of George’s history books, plush leather couches, and a spectacular antique bar that lit up when it was opened. Alcohol being a catalyst for the events of the play, the bar served as a focal point for the action, but my favourite setpiece was a glorious historical map of 19th-Century France, which we chose when I decided Napoleonic France was George’s specialist subject.

'Snap! it went snap snap, not me it, the whole arrangement!' Tensions rise and tempers fray between George and Martha, sad sad sad.

‘Snap! it went snap snap, not me it, the whole arrangement!’
Tensions rise and tempers fray between George and Martha, sad sad sad.

Under the direction of fellow Bear in Arms Sam O’Fearraí, our humble cast developed four incredibly deep and rich characters. After months of extensive rehearsal with Sam the actors were so in tune with each other that scenes and moments in the play could turn on a dime and each run brought new surprises. Sam encouraged us to work off each other, feed off the audience, and play organically. In the event, each performance grew independently and turned out different from the last: on Wednesday it was a tragedy, on Friday it was a farce.

'They like the way they move...' Martha and Nick share a tender moment.

‘They like the way they move…’
Martha and Nick share a tender moment.

Virginia Woolf was one of the most wholesome theatre experiences I have ever had. From the opening spats I shared with Muireann Ní Raghallaigh as Martha, to the moments that approached blows with Conor Quinlan as Nick, to the Poe-bells sudden revelation shared with Ruth Darcy as Honey, to the heartbreaking climax shared by all four characters, each performance was filled with the kind of material that actors thrive on. I miss it every day.

Meet Our Cast! (2!)

Chris Moran

Chris Moran

This is Chris’s first production with ThereisBear! He is playing Prior Walter in Angels in America.

Chris Moran is a Theatre & Performance Student in NUIG. He has done nine shows with Dramsoc over the last two years. Acting credits including Philadelphia Here I Come (2012), Translations (2012), Meat (2012) and the musical Reefer Madness (2012).

In March 2012 Chris was given the Jerome Hynes Best Newcomer award for his one-act, Laughter is the Best Medicine. This year he directed a two-time ISDA nominated adaptation of Macbeth. Chris is currently directing an original work as part of AbandonedBoy Theatre for the Galway Fringe.

Chris is playing Prior Walter in Angels in America. This is his first performance with Thereisbear.

Conor Quinlan

Conor will be playing Louis Ironson in Angels in America.

Conor will be playing Louis Ironson in Angels in America.

As a native of Galway, Conor Quinlan has performed in numerous local productions. Acting credits include Joe in This Lime Tree Bower Heart and Crown, 2007), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Hearth and Crown, 2009), Jack in Lord of the Flies (Hearth and Crown, 2008)  and Simon in Freefall: Heroes (Tiger Theatre, 2010).

Conor has been a part of Dramsoc for the last four years in such great productions as An Ideal Husband (Dramsoc, 2010) and The Morning After Optimism (Dramsoc, 2010). This year, he appeared in An Imagined Paris (Dramsoc, 2012), Seduced (Dramsoc, 2013) and Macbeth (Dramsoc, 2013), all of which traveled to the Irish Student Drama Festival in Cork.
This is his second production with Thereisbear, after the successful run of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (ThereisBear!, 2013)

Conor has a Diploma of Associate with the Irish Board of Speech and Drama. He has been accepted to the The Gaiety School of Acting and will begin studying there in September.

Conor is playing Louis Ironson in Angels in America.

Funding Video

Please Watch and Share our awesome Campaign Video. The bulk of the video was shot in ONE TAKE by Brian O’Brien and sees the characters of Angels in America at home and at work. Worlds collide as dreams mingle with reality!

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America directed by ThereisBear’s Darragh O’Brien.
Touring this summer from May 27th to June 13th with your help!
Check out the Funding page and give what you can!

Locations: Galway, Athlone, Dublin.

Filmed and edited by Brien O’Brien, lighting by Susan Collins
Special thanks to Emily Murray for emergency assistance!

Fundraiser Appeal

Click Here to see our Gifts for All Funders!

Click Here to Donate!

Angels in America is the story of two couples living in New York at the end of the 20th Century.

Prior and Louis have to deal with the disastrous news of a HIV diagnoses which threatens their relationship and puts things in perspective during the height of the AIDS crisis. Louis strains to keep his wits as his lover gets sicker, while Prior hides his pain with dry humour.

Joe and Harper’s faith is tested as their marital problems come to a head. Joe struggles to remain faithful to his religion, and to his wife, as he wars with the fearful questioning of his own sexuality. Harper, unhappy and addicted to Valium, grows increasingly aware that all is not as it seems with her husband.

Both couples live in a world of corruption, politics, religion, fear of illness, and of being alone.

And it is a world that seems to be coming apart around them as Harper and Prior slip through the boundaries of their own dreams and hallucinations.

This will be ThereisBear’s third production and our second tour. Last summer we toured Patrick Galvin’s ‘The Last Burning’ to six locations nationwide, and in January we brought Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ to Druid Lane Theatre in Galway, both generating excellent reviews.

Angels in America has received critical acclaim and won numerous awards since its premiere in 1991, courting  controversy amongst conservatives as well as praise from all corners. We recognise this play’s importance, as well as its connections with our own recent past, and we want to bring it to Irish audiences with as high a standard as possible.

We are asking for you to help fund this summer’s tour. The money raised will go towards transport, advertising in papers as well as posters and flyers, venue hire, and other production costs such as set and technical equipment. Any donation, no matter the size, will be gratefully received and put to good use. Every euro makes a difference, and will help our small company take this production from being good, to great.

Thanks from all of us at ThereisBear! -we hope to see you this summer.

Click Here to see our Gifts for All Funders!

Click Here to Donate!

Fundraiser Rewards!

€5- Feather: A signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€10- Halo: A signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme, and a special thanks online.

€15- Messenger: A ticket to any of our shows, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme, and a special thanks online.

€30- Cherub: An invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, 2 tickets to any of our shows, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€50- Seraph: A SPECIAL MENTION in our programme, 4 tickets to any of our shows, an invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€100- Celestial Choir: An exclusive photo with the cast, an annotated script, a mention before every show, a SPECIAL MENTION in our programme, 4 tickets to any of our shows, an invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€150- Guardian Angel: A backstage pass to meet the cast, a small gift from ThereisBear!, an exclusive photo with the cast, an annotated script, a mention before every show, a SPECIAL MENTION in our programme, 4 tickets to any of our shows, an invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€200- Archangel: Dinner for 2 with the Bears, annotated pre-production notes and photos, backstage pass to meet the cast, a small gift from ThereisBear!, an exclusive photo with the cast, an annotated script, a mention before every show, a SPECIAL MENTION in our programme, 4 tickets to any of our shows, an invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme and a special thanks online.

€300- Deity: Dinner for 2 with the Bears, annotated pre-production notes and photos, backstage pass to meet the cast, a small gift from ThereisBear!, an exclusive photo with the cast, an annotated script, a mention before every show, a SPECIAL MENTION in our programme, 4 tickets to any of our shows, an invitation to our after show party, a signed poster, a signed programme, your name on the programme, a special thanks online, and we will, at your invitation, perform the show at your house!Image

Meet our Cast

Hannah O’Reilly

Hannah is Artistic Director at ThereisBear! and is playing Harper Pitt in Angels in America.

Hannah is Artistic Director at ThereisBear! and is playing Harper Pitt in Angels in America.

Hannah O’Reilly Artistic Director at ThereisBear! Theatre. She is finishing up her Theatre and Performance degree in NUIG. She has received training at the Gaiety School of Acting, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and the Avignon Theatre Conservatoire. Hannah directed Patrick Galvin’s The Last Burning (2012) for ThereisBear!’s national tour last summer, and was producer and set-designer on their production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013) in January.

Hannah has also written, directed and choreographed an original dance show called The Waves with NUIG Dramsoc (2012), and was a choreographer for Reefer Madness, a collaboration between NUIG Dramsoc and Galway University Musical Society (2012).

Acting credits include Viola in NUIG Dramsoc’s Centenary Producion Twelfth Night. Player King in Hamlet (Dramsoc, 2012) and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Dramsoc, 2010). Hannah will play Harper Pitt in Thereisbear!’s upcoming production of Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches.

Claudia O’Sullivan

Claudia is our Angel and also plays Emily the nurse.

Claudia is our Angel and also plays Emily the nurse.

Claudia graduated last year with an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. She has a BA in English and Classics. She works in a drama school called Centre Stage Youth Theatre that is based in Athlone, Ballinasloe and Galway.

Claudia’s acting credits include Maureen in Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane (2011, Broken Door Theatre), Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show (Dramsoc, 2011) and Laertes in Hamlet (Dramsoc, 2012).

Claudia has written and choreographed two narrative dance shows, Rewind (2011) and Never Trust a Smile (2012). This year, Never Trust a Smile was given an award in the Judges Special Category at the Irish Student Drama Festival.

Claudia is currently the Vice Auditor of NUIG’s Dramsoc. Last September she stage managed Sanctuary (2012) by Blue Teapot Theatre in Galway. Blue Teapot Theatre is a company that works with people with intellectual disabilities and this year was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for its work on Sanctuary. Claudia will play The Angel in Thereisbear!’s upcoming production of Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches.

Sam O’Fearrai

Sam O'Fearraí is Company Director a ThereisBear! and Joe Pitt in Angels in America

Sam O’Fearraí is Company Director a ThereisBear! and Joe Pitt in Angels in America

Sam is company director of Thereisbear! Theatre. Previous directing credits include Twelfth Night (Dramsoc, 2013) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  (ThereisBear! 2013) as well as productions of Hamlet (Dramsoc, 2012), The Women Amongst the Ice (Blackheart Theatre, 2011), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Broken Door Theatre, 2011) and Phaedra’s Love (Dramsoc, 2010). Sam has also worked as an assistant director on The Last Burning (ThereisBear!, 2012) and a production of The Rocky Horror Show (Dramsoc, 2011). He directed scenes from Richard III in TEXT MESSAGES at the Project Arts Centre (2013) and has performed at the Dublin Shakespeare Festival (2010).

Acting credits include Macbeth (Dramsoc, 2013), The Last Burning (ThereisBear!, 2012), Frank Pig Says Hello (GYT, 2012) and Perve (BA Connect, 2012), The Rocky Horror Show (Dramsoc, 2011), Romeo and Juliet (Dramsoc, 2010), Medea (Dramsoc, 2010) and Twelfth Night (Secret Shakespeare Society, 2010). Sam will play Joe Pitt in Thereisbear!’s upcoming production of Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches.