DC Theatre Scene: An Irish Carol & Construction Update

Keegan Theatre’s Church Street home may be still under construction but the show must go on. The show is Keegan’s annual seasonal offering An Irish Carol. Thanks to a generous partnership, Keegan can present the show at Theater J with the proceeds going to their ongoing capital campaign.

Written by Dublin native and Keegan company member Matthew J. Keenan, An Irish Carol is a modern fable set in a Dublin pub and runs December 26-28, 2014 at Theater J.

For this production of the comic and touching play, not only will all the actors and staff donate their time, Theater J has donated the use of their theater for the limited run engagement. “We’re so grateful to Theater J’s leadership for their generosity in providing us a space to perform this show,” said Mark A. Rhea, Keegan’s founder and producing artistic director.

Rhea is hoping that these five holiday performances will raise enough to help ensure that the basement level of the Andrew Keegan Theatre, known as artist’s space, will include rehearsal space, storage, office space, a green room, and even laundry space.

2013-0912 front elevation croppedJeff Walker: Where do the renovations stand as of today?

Mark A. Rhea: The basement has been poured and the lower level weight bearing walls are being built to hold the upper level house and stage. The main lobby floor is already built and the elevator shaft is underway.

Have there been any surprises along the way?

Things have gone really smooth so far. The only surprises would be finding a 1899 quarter while excavating and a 1919 license plate stuck into the brick behind an old wall.

How is the schedule going?

The schedule for completion is May 15, 2015, for the main area for patrons and an additional four to five weeks for the lower level artist area. We plan to be in the building on stage rehearsing after May 15 and open first show late June, 2015. As of today, we are on schedule!

An Irish Carol has become a tradition for Keegan. This time the performances have a renewed purpose. Tell us what it means for the theatre.

It means the world to me that the artists are donating their time to try and raise funds for the artist basement. We made a decision a long time ago not to include the artist area in the current budget. Later, that decision did not sit well with any of us at Keegan Theatre or the architect or contractor, so we are working on ways to finish it. When we received news we could use Theater J – which was very lovely of them – I hatched the plan to use the show as a way to raise some of the funds needed. It is a special moment for me to know that just by purchasing a ticket artists can help artists and see a lovely little show.

Read the Full Article at DC Theatre Scene