Friday, 25 March 2016

Setting the Stage. . . In Process with Designer Dale Marushy

Set Designer Dale Marushy shared his creative process on his design for Outside Mullingar - a modern day romantic comedy set in rural Ireland.

"The world of the play takes place in a landscape not so different from ours.  I spent many hours 'Google mapping' my way around County Westmeath, where the town of Mullingar (and our characters) reside.  The land is central to the story of this play, as are the social dynamics of an Irish home.

Marushy Outside Mullingar
Marushy's set design for Outside Mullingar, in miniature.

Within that broader setting, we needed a house.  "Confines" of a kitchen serve as a central meeting place, and also, a battleground.  The interior (minimalist, hard angles) needed to contrast the open landscape (wild abundance), which became a metaphor for the show itself: characters wrestling to find congruity with their place in life.   There's freedom, but servitude.  To the land and each other.  

Marushy Design Outside Mullingar
One panel of the giant landscape, graphic designed by Dale Marushy.

Early on, Morris and I brainstormed the idea of "outside" always being present.  Or how the kitchen could feel part of the land, while still an outsider on it.  This evolved into the house as an open structure with giant upstage scrim portraying an inescapably beautiful landscape.  The house still feels like a house, but we're always faced with the land, the struggles, and question of ownership.  Does the land belong to them, or do they belong to the land?

Design by Dale Marushy
The set under construction in the shop.  Photo by Dale Marushy

It's a riff on exposure, which for me, is the journey of the play. Vulnerability, transparency, exposure: the invisible walls that support a true home. 

Design by Dale Marushy
The set starts taking shape on stage.  Photo by Dale Marushy

To see the final product of Marushy's set design, and the beautiful story it participates in, come experience Outside Mullingar, presented by Rosebud Theatre.

Friday, 18 March 2016

John Patrick Shanley on Outside Mullingar

Outside Mullingar is a relational comedy about love, death, home and hope: fulfillment of promises and the places we find reconciliation.

One of America's most celebrated playwrights, John Patrick Shanley writes characters with grace, humour and complexity.  With Outside Mullingar he set out to explore unknown (but personal) territory.

Judith Buchan, Heather Pattengale, John Innes
Judith Buchan, Heather Pattengale, & John Innes in Outside Mullingar.
Photo by Morris Ertman

"I always knew I'd have to come home eventually.  I'm Irish as hell: Kelly on one side, Shanley on the other.  My father had been born on a farm in the Irish Midlands.  He and his brothers had been shepherds there, cattle and sheep, back in the early 1920s.  I grew up surrounded by brogues and Irish music, but stayed away from the old country till I was over 40. I just couldn't own being Irish...

"When I finally went to Ireland, I had to go.  It was 1993.  My father was finally too old to travel alone, and he asked me to take him home.  When an old man asks you to take him home, you have to do it.

"When I sat with my father in that farm kitchen, the one that he had grown up in, and listened to my Irish family talk, I recognized that this was my Atlantis, the lost and beautiful world of my poet's heart.  There was no way to write about the farm, yet I had to write about it.  I listened to this amazing language these folks were speaking as if it were normal conversation, and I knew this was my territory..."
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Read the rest of John Patrick Shanley on his Irishness and Outside Mullingar in the New York Times.

And come see Outside Mullingar, the opening show of our 2016 season.  For tickets visit Rosebud

Friday, 11 March 2016

An Actor's Diary: Outside Mullingar

Did you know we had a YouTube Channel?  Click on the link and subscribe to keep yourself updated on goings on in video land.

And check out our insider's video on the acting process.  Heather Pattengale is preparing for her role in our upcoming Outside Mullingar, by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, John Patrick Shanley.

This all adds up to a romantic comedy you won't want to miss.  Visit for ticket information and show details.