Irish Play Series returns to BPA

The second installment of Bainbridge Performing Arts’ Irish Play Series, Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer,” a rehearsed reading directed by Wilson Milam, will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 for a special one-night-only performance.

“The Seafarer” is a black comedy set over the course of a long evening of family, friends, and drink one Christmas Eve in Dublin. The play centers on James “Sharky” Harkin, who has recently returned to Dublin and moved in with his older, quarrelsome sibling Richard.

As guests drop by, drinks start to flow, stories are retold, and secrets begin to emerge as Sharky has to deal with one friend who seems to be staying on permanently, rather than return home to his own family, and another who is now the partner of his ex-wife, and with whom, annoyingly, he seems very happy. Things come to a head when a mysterious stranger, Mr. Lockhart, drops by and brings up an encounter he had with Sharky 25 years ago, and announces he has come for “repayment” in a winner-take-all game of poker.

The performance is recommended for those 13-and-older.

McPherson is an Irish playwright and director, who won the George Devine Award in 1997 with his play “St Nicholas” and went on to win an Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999 with “The Weir.”

In 2006 he received a Tony Award nomination for “Shining City” and an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play for “The Seafarer.”

Subsequent plays include “The Night Alive,” as well as adaptations of “The Birds” and “Dance of Death.”

As a screenwriter he has written “I Went Down,” and wrote and directed the films “Saltwater,” “The Actors” and “The Eclipse.”

Most recently he wrote and directed the play “Girl From the North Country” (now on Broadway) and the television drama “Paula” for BBC.

Tickets, $20 per person, may be purchased online at, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA (200 Madison Ave. North).

BPA box office hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and one hour prior to each performance.

Milam began his career in Seattle where he has directed “Feston” (NCTC, Gregory Award Best Production) as well as “Outside Mullingar,” “American Buffalo,” “God of Carnage,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “The Seafarer,” all at the Seattle Rep.

On Bainbridge he has directed “Trad” (the inaugural offering in BPA’s Irish Play Series) and “The North Plan” (for inD Theatre).

Other work includes the original productions of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” and “Killer Joe.”

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