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UNCSA to present Anne Devlin’s Irish drama, After Easter, April 28-May 2

WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present Anne Devlin’s After Easter, the story of a modern Irish family’s religious and political struggles, at the end of this month.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. April 28 through May 1 and at 2 p.m. on May 1 and 2 in Patrons Theatre, located in Performance Place on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Call the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945 for reservations, or visit www.uncsa.edu/performances to purchase tickets online.

Directed by School of Drama faculty member Caroline Kava, the show will feature members of Studio III, the junior class of the School of Drama.

Patrick Osteen as Manus and Cemre Ebuzziya as Greta in Anne Devlin's After Easter.
Photo by A. Aycock

Taking place amidst “The Troubles,” a time of political and religious unrest in Ireland, After Easter depicts the quandary of an Irish family that is detached from tradition and struggling to regain its identity. The play is driven by the tortured religious visions of the oldest daughter, Greta, who has forsaken both her country and her faith. The lines between sane and insane, sacred and secular, and Irish and English are blurred in this poignant but ultimately hopeful tale.

The title of the play is both a reference to the Easter Rising of 1916, an attempt by Irish republicans to establish a republic in their country, as well as a literal description of the play’s setting. Beginning several days before Easter in 1994, the story concludes soon after Easter, humorously relating several events of religious significance, as well as a family tragedy. 

Playwright Anne Devlin was born in 1951 and raised in a Catholic family. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, she later relocated to England. She is best known for her stories and plays about Catholic women living during “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, which was a political and religious climate she herself had to endure. Devlin has also written multiple television plays and adapted two novels and several of her stories for the BBC, which have aired in Canada and the United States as well as in England.

Director Caroline Kava is well-known in theatre circles and is highly recognizable by film and TV audiences. Her New York theatre credits include Threepenny Opera directed by Richard Foreman and Cloud 9 directed by Tommy Tune. Her film credits include BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, YEAR OF THE DRAGON, and SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS. Her television credits include NOBODY’S CHILD, directed by Lee Grant; GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, with Martin Sheen; and guest appearances on “Law & Order,” “The Practice,” “Dawson’s Creek” and many others. Kava’s play, The Early Girl, was produced by Circle Rep and is published by Samuel French. She also authored the book and lyrics of Constance and the Musician with music by Mel Marvin, produced by the GeVa Theatre in Rochester, N.Y., and An Adaptation of Hedda Gabler produced at the studio theatre of the University of Miami. Kava is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse, where she studied with Sanford Meisner. She received a B.A. in writing and performance from Empire State College of the State University of New York, and an M.F.A. in film directing from Columbia University. She has taught acting at the University of Miami, Barnard College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has directed off-Broadway, at the Chautauqua Institute, Purchase College and the University of Illinois. Her short film, POLIO WATER, was included in the British Short and New York film festivals, and was awarded the IFP/Bravo Grand Prize. Her second film, NUMBER ONE, was included in the British Short Film Festival and won Princess Grace and DGA awards.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from middle school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.