WMU News

Edward Callan returns to WMU with 'I am of Ireland'

Sept. 12, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- On Tuesday, Sept, 17, WMU's Department of English will present Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English Edward Callan, speaking about and showing excerpts from the video production of his play "I Am of Ireland: An Entertainment of W. B. Yeats." The program is free and open to the public and begins at 8 p.m. on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower.

Edward Callan taught at Western Michigan University for 25 years. I Am of Ireland, with music composed and performed by the eminent Irish harpist, Gráinne Yeats, premiered on the Abbey Theatre's Peacock stage as part of the Dublin Millenium Festival in June 1988, with the prominent Irish actor Bosco Hogan as Yeats. An immediate success, it was revived by the Irish National Theatre (The Abbey Theatre) during August 1988, and again in January and February1989.

The Irish Government sponsored a special performance on the 50th anniversary of the death of Yeats, attended by the diplomatic corps. A 15 minute excerpt appeared on CBS Sunday Morning in April 1989; and in October the Abbey Theatre Company brought the play to Western Michigan University. In 1990 it played at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, and elsewhere; and it was chosen--with works by Brian Friel, W.B.Yeats, and Seamus Heaney--for a Teatro Irlanda Festival at the Trianon Theatre, Rome.

In 1999-2000, Vincent Dowling, for whom it was originally written, staged it at Chester, Mass.; Sarasota, Fla. and elsewhere. In 2001, an expanded version with some additional poems was produced in Dublin on video film and introduced by Michael Yeats at the Yeats Summer School. A shortened TV version is in process. Videos are available for $25 plus $5 shipping by e-mail from: <info@aubergine.ie>.

Edward Callan's new play, "Molly's Only Playboy: An Entertainment of J.M.Synge," directed by Tucker Rafferty and with Mychelle Hopkins as Synge's fiancee, will be staged at Kalamazoo's API Theatre on weekends from Sept. 20 through Oct. 12.

Arnie Johnston, Chair of the Department of English, says, "We're delighted to have Professor Callan return to campus under any circumstances, but we're particularly pleased to offer this presentation that will help to call attention to the premiere of his latest play."

For more information, please call the Department of English at 269 387-2572.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, 269 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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