Brian Friel's "Molly Sweeney" to be staged at Fairfield University's Quick Center

"Molly Sweeney," by Brian Friel, author of "Dancing at Lughnasa," will be staged at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts' Wien Theatre for eight performances from Friday, March 10 to Saturday, March 18. The haunting, thought-provoking, Celtic drama stars Fairfield's Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon and Milford's Colin Lane, and is part of the Quick Center's multi-event Irish Arts & Letters Festival which runs through April 6.

Set in Donegal, Ireland, the play presents a deceptively simple tale about the quest to restore the vision of middle-aged Molly Sweeney, who has been blind since infancy. We hear the story from the perspective of Molly, her husband Frank and Dr. Paddy Rice as three monologues are woven together to form a powerful drama underscoring the connection between vision and understanding.

Keir Dullea Mia Dillon Colin Lane
Keir Dullea Mia Dillon Colin Lane

Dullea plays Dr. Paddy Rice. The star of 24 motion pictures, he is best known for his role in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," and "David & Lisa," for which he won a Golden Globe Award. Dullea has recently filmed "Audrey Hepburn," for ABC-TV (which airs in March) in which he plays the title character's father, and will appear later this year in Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Songs in Ordinary Time." He has acted locally at the Hartford Stage Company, the Westport Country Playhouse, the White Barn, Stamford Theatre Works and the Boston Post Road Stage Company.

Dillon plays "Molly Sweeney." She has appeared on Broadway and Off, most notably in "Crimes of the Heart," for which she received a Tony nomination, the Clarence Derwent Award and a Dramalogue Award. Other Broadway credits include "The Miser," "Hay Fever," "The Corn is Green" (Drama Desk Nomination), "Once a Catholic," "Agnes of God," and "Da." Last summer she toured with her husband, Keir Dullea, in "Death Trap."

Colin Lane, most recently seen in Bridgeport's Polka Dot Theatre's "Beauty Queen of Leenane," plays Frank Sweeney. He has appeared in the New York productions of "Molly Sweeney," "Portia Coughlan," "Philadelphia Here I Come," "Seconds Out" and, as John Lennon, in "Liverpool Fantasy."

Jonathan Pape, whose career spans theater, musical theater and opera, directs the production. Some of his most recent directorial efforts are: "Master Class" in Tel Aviv, "Sweeney Todd," "A Piece of My Heart" and "Driving Miss Daisy." Recent operatic credits include "Orfee," "Carmen," "Dialogues of the Carmelites," and "La Traviata." John Lasiter will design the sets.

The Irish Festival is sponsored in part by: The State of Connecticut, Office of Policy and Management in conjunction with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts; Fairfield University's College of Arts & Sciences Humanities Institute; the American Ireland Fund; the Kevin Conlisk family; and, the Wild Geese, an Irish-American organization based in Greenwich.

Performances are at 8 p.m., March 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, with weekend matinees at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, and Sundays March 12 and 18. Tickets are $20, with discounts for seniors, students and groups, and may be purchased by calling the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on February 15, 2000

Vol. 32, No. 170

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