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he Stage:
 
To me, theatre and film are like hurling and football - different sports, but both equally great.

- Stephen Rea quoted from Vanity Fair, November 1995
Picture by Snowdon, copyright Vanity Fair.
 
Stephen Rea will star in the world premiere of Sam Shepard's Ages of the Moon. Performances begin Tuesday March 3, 2009 thru Saturday April 4, 2009 at the Abbey Peacock Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.
 
Stephen Rea recently starred in Sam
Shepard's new play, Kicking a
Dead Horse
. The play debuted in March, 2007 at the Abbey Peacock Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. In June 2008 the play made its U.S. premiere at The Public Theater in New York and then ended its run in September at the Almeida Theatre in London.

 

 

From April - June, 2004, Stephen Rea starred in the title role of Derek Mahon's new version of the timeless classic, Cyrano de Bergerac at London's National Theatre. Howard Davies directed the play's new adaptation and has also worked with Stephen Rea in the National Theatre productions of The Shaughraun (1988) and Piano (1990). Stephen Rea has also worked in the television films, Copenhagen (2002) and Armadillo (2001). Both were directed by Howard Davies.

Stephen Rea's last appearance at London's National was in Piano at the Cottesloe Theatre in 1990.

A few of Stephen Rea's theatre credits:

In 2000, Stephen Rea directed the production of The Plough and the Stars at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. In 1993, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in the Broadway production of the Frank McGuinness play, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. Stephen Rea also appeared at London's National theatre in The Shaughraun, Piano, and Tales from the Vienna Woods. Other credits include Shadow of the Gunman at the Mermaid Theatre as well as Comedians and the role of Christopher Mahon in The Playboy of the Western World.

For more info on Stephen Rea's credits and work with Field Day Theatre Company, see below.

 

 

In 1980, Stephen Rea and playwright Brian Friel founded the Field Day Theatre Company in Ireland. The Company toured Ireland for 10 years, bringing theatre to many towns where it had been neglected for years. However, to this day, Field Day is well known for more than just its attempts to bring theatre to larger audiences. The Company brought forth radical and genuinely intellectual ideas and challenged audiences to look at the theatre as something much more than just entertainment... Field Day invited much of Ireland to explore the social and political crisis the nation was facing at the time.

The Field Day Theatre Company is now recognized internationally for its many contributions to the theatre.
 

"Rea went on to describe the satisfaction he received while touring Ireland with the Field Day Theatre Company, saying, 'It was immensely stimulating to see the response of people in different towns.' When asked whether he thought the theatrical company functioned as a national theatre for Ireland, the actor responded, 'That opens up the questions:

What is a national theatre? What is a nation?'

The theatre company, he added, 'was about opening up new ideas,' and 'building up Irish theatre,' which was then lacking in his country, Rea said."

- From the Yale Bulletin & Calendar, taken from the Yale symposium on The Theater of Irish Cinema, published February, 2001.

 

 
In the book, The Company of Actors (1999), Stephen Rea comments on the formation of Field Day:

"When I first went to London, it was a very difficult transition to make from being an actor who worked in Dublin, to being an actor who could find his way around London, and be known and respected. It was very, very difficult indeed. Now it's more straightforward, and Field Day had a lot to do with that. It became automatic that our plays transferred, and that wasn't as a provincial company looking towards the metropolis; there was a belief that we should be able to survive in the most theatrically sophisticated circles."
In the Company of Actors, by Carole Zucker, 1999
 
Stephen Rea also comments on the Field Day Theatre Company in the book, Hollywood Irish In Their Own Words :

"I founded the company with Brian Friel simply because he is the greatest living Irish playwright. I went to him and asked him if he would form this company with me, and he did. He was doing Translations, which is a play of huge significance, and so we got off to a very good start. I'd worked with Brian before, in a play at the Royal Court, called Freedom of the City, which was really a response to the events of Bloody Sunday. Brian was being drawn out of being a private, personal writer to enter a political domain. Because of the way the events of the country were going, people were driven to be public. It was very exciting to see that process occurring, because all the theatres that I regard as important have been writer-based. And if anything has made my own work develop, it has been contact with writers."
Hollywood Irish In Their Own Words also published in Ireland as Leading Hollywood, by Aine O'Connor, 1997
 
More on Field Day:

"'We were very easily categorized as a bunch of Northern nationalists. But we wanted to be a unifying influence', he stresses. 'It was in no sense that we wanted to say that the nationalist experience was greater or more interesting than anybody else's experience. We wanted to talk about the areas that had contributed to us arriving in the situation we are in.'"

- Stephen Rea quoted from The Irish Times, March 22, 1997.
 
Stephen Rea as George McBrain in Comedians by Trevor Griffiths,
named Most Promising New Actor in The Playboy of the Western World
- From Plays and Players, London Critics 1975 Awards
Photo copyright John Haynes
Stephen Rea's Theatre Credits:
Play
Playwright
Year
Director
Theatre Company
Kicking a Dead Horse
Sam Shepard
2007-2008
Sam Shepard
The Abbey, Dublin, The Public Theater, NYC, Almeida Theatre, London
Cyrano de Bergerac
Derek Mahon
2004
Howard Davies
The Olivier, NT
The Plough & the Stars
Sean O'Casey
2000
Stephen Rea
The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
Ashes to Ashes
Harold Pinter
9.12.1996
Harold Pinter
Royal Court Theatre
Uncle Vanya
Antone Chekhov
1995
Peter Gill
Field Day Theatre Company
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
Frank McGuinness
11.23.92 - 6.1.93
Robin Lefevre
The Booth Theatre, NY, U.S.
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
Frank McGuinness
9.8.92
Robin Lefevre
Vaudeville Theatre, London
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
Frank McGuinness
7.4.92
Robin Lefevre
Hampstead Theatre, London
A Piece of Monologue
Samuel Beckett
10.91
Judy Friel
The Gate, Dublin
That Time
Samuel Beckett
10.91
Judy Friel
The Gate, Dublin
Play
Samuel Beckett
10.91
Lucy Bailey
The Gate, Dublin
Act Without Words, II
Samuel Beckett
10.91
Lucy Bailey
The Gate, Dublin
Piano
Chekhov/Trevor Griffiths
8.8.90
Howard Davies
National Theatre, London
Saint Oscar
Terry Eagleton
3.9.1990
Trevor Griffiths
Hampstead Theatre, London
The Cure at Troy
Seamus Heaney
1990
Stephen Rea and Bob Crowley
Field Day Theatre Company
Saint Oscar
Terry Eagleton
1989
Trevor Griffiths
Field Day Theatre Company
The Shaughraun
Dion Boucicault
5.11.1988
Howard Davies
National Theatre (Olivier), London
Making History
Brian Friel
1988
Simon Curtis
National Theatre, London
Making History
Brian Friel
1988
Simon Curtis
Field Day Theatre Company
Pentecost
Stewart Parker
1987
Patrick Mason
Field Day Theatre Company
High Society
Richard Eyre
2.25.1987
Richard Eyre
Victoria Palace, London
High Society
Richard Eyre
11.25.1986
Richard Eyre
Leicester Haymarket Theatre
Double Cross
Thomas Kilroy
1986
Jim Sheridan
Royal Court Theatre, London
Double Cross
Thomas Kilroy
1986
Jim Sheridan
Field Day Theatre Company
High Time
Derek Mahon
1984
Emil Wolk/Mark Long
Field Day Theatre Company
The Riot Act
Tom Paulin
1984
Stephen Rea
Field Day Theatre Company
Kingdom of the Earth
Kenneth MacMillan
1984
Kenneth MacMillan
Hampstead Theatre, London
Communication Cord
Brian Friel
5.1983
Nancy Meckler
Hampstead Theatre, London
Boesman and Lena
Athol Fugard
1983
Clare Davidson
Field Day Theatre Company
Miss Julie
August Strindberg
3.2.1983
Clare Davidson
Duke of Yorks, London
Communication Cord
Brian Friel
1982
Joe Dowling
Field Day Theatre Company
Translations
Brian Friel
4.81
Donald McWhinnie
Hampstead Theatre, London
Three Sisters
Antone Chekhov
1981
Stephen Rea
Field Day Theatre Company
Buried Child
Sam Shepard
6.19.1980
Nancy Meckler
Hampstead Theatre, London
Killer's Head
Sam Shepard
1975
Nancy Meckler
Hampstead Theatre, London
Action
Sam Shepard
1974
Nancy Meckler
Hampstead Theatre, London
The Blue Macushla
Tom Murphy
1980
Jim Sheridan
Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Translations
Brian Friel
1980
Art O'Brian
Field Day Theatre Company
Ecstasy
Mike Leigh
1979
Mike Leigh
Hampstead Theatre, London
Aristocrats
Brian Friel
1979
Joe Dowling
Abbey Theatre, Dublin
The Cherry Orchard
Anton Chekhov
1.12.78
Peter Gill
Riverside Studios
Strawberry Fields
Stephen Poliakoff
4.5.1977
Michael Apted
National Theatre, (Cottesloe), London
Tales From the Vienna Woods
Odon von Horvath
1.26.77
Maximilian Schell
National Theatre (Olivier), London
Il Campiello
Carlo Goldoni
10.25.1976
Bill Bryden
National Theatre (Olivier), London
The Playboy of the Western World
John Millington Synge
10.7.1976
Bill Bryden
National Theatre (Olivier), London
The Playboy of the Western World
John Millington Synge
6.3.1976
Bill Bryden
National Theatre (Lyttelton), London
Endgame
Samuel Beckett
5.6.1976
Donald McWhinnie
Royal Court Theatre, London
The Playboy of the Western World
John Millington Synge
10.29.1975
Bill Bryden
National Theatre (Old Vic), London
Comedians
Trevor Griffiths
9.24.1975
Richard Eyre
Old Vic, London
Hamlet
William Shakespeare
1975
Peter Hall
National Theatre (Old Vic), London
Comedians
Trevor Griffiths
2.20.1975
Richard Eyre
Nottingham Playhouse
Geography of a Horse Dreamer
Sam Shepard


2.21.1974

Sam Shepard
Royal Court Theatre, London
Drums in the Night
Bertold Brecht
9.11.1973
Roland Rees
Hampstead Theatre, London
Freedom of the City
Brian Friel
2.27.1973
Albert Finney
Royal Court Theatre, London
The Duchess of Malfi
John Webster
John McGrath
7:84 Theatre Company
Sergeant Musgraves
John Arden
John McGrath
The Gate, Dublin
The White Devil
John Webster
Richard Eyre
Nottingham Playhouse
Crete and Sergeant Pepper
John Antrobus
5.24.1971
Peter Gill
Royal Court Theatre, London
Captain Oates' Left Sock
John Antrobus
1969
Nicholas Wright
Royal Court Theatre, London
The Shadow of a Gunman
Sean O'Casey
1967
The Mermaid Theatre, London
Other references:
Books:
Acting Between The Lines: The Field Day Theatre Company And Irish Cultural Politics, 1980-1984,
by Marilynn J. Richtarik, 2001
Changing Stages
by Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright, 2000

Websites:

Field Day Theatre Company:

Field Day Books

Emory.edu

Peter Gill website

Irish Playography
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