Arís! theater, Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture, plans a mix of staged readings and celebrations that commemorate milestones in the Welsh, Irish and Scottish literary worlds in its 2017 season, the company’s fifth.
The “Celebrations” include Burns Night, the return of Ulysses/Bloomsday, An Arís Christmas and the four-play festival Celtic Shorts.
In seasons past, Arís (pronounced uh-REESH, meaning “again” or “encore” in Irish) has performed primarily at Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Midtown. In 2017, the troupe’s venues include Stage Door Players in Dunwoody, Relapse Theatre in Midtown, Manuel’s Tavern in Poncey-Highland and the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in Midtown.
In chronological order, the season looks like this:
JAN. 25. Robert Burns (1759-1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. The Arís celebration is as an evening of his songs and poems. Raise a pint at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave. NE.
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
FEB. 15. Hero or traitor? This drama from Welsh playwright Tim Price is based on the life of convicted whistleblower Bradley Manning, the child of a Welsh mother and American father who enlisted in the army and leaked classified documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Performed at Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.
MARCH 21. A fundraiser featuring readings of four plays — one each from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, directed by guest artists. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, 99 Peachtree St. NE.
APRIL 4. Irish playwright Enda Walsh (The Last Electric Ballroom) puts his spin on Homer’s Odyssey in a contemporary story that takes place the day before Odysseus returns home, where persistent suitors have been trying to woo his faithful wife, Penelope. The final four are stuck in the bottom of an empty swimming pool, scheming, hoping, waiting and wondering. At Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.
The Welsh Boy
MAY 23. English playwright Julian Mitchell’s story explores sex, love and the price of living up to society’s expectations. Based on true events in rural 18th-century England, where the daughter of a landed gentry falls for a penniless Welsh singer. Based on the 1741 novel The True Anti-Pamela by James Parry. At Relapse Theatre, 380 14th St NW.
JUNE 6-7. Back by popular demand, Arís says. Irish playwright Dermot Bolger adapts James Joyce’s famous novel in what’s called “a hilarious, raucous evening that is true to the original, and captures its breath and blood in the most immediate way.” Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary June day in 1904. (Ulysses is the Latinized name of Homer’s hero Odysseus.) At the Shakespeare Tavern, 99 Peachtree St. NE.
AUGUST. It’s the summer of 1939 in this script by Scottish playwright David Greig, and two ornithologists visit a remote island to observe the wildlife. Or is there another reason? Outlying Islands looks at the impact of hidden motivations and desires, the conflict between the demands of science vs. nature and the past vs. the future. Venue TBA.
Ticket details are not yet available. Stay up to date by joining the Arís mailing list or by watching the website HERE.