A theater event that was a hit three years ago returns this weekend to fill the bucolic Anam Cara Farm in South Whitehall Township.
Selkie Theatre founders Kate Scuffle and George Miller will present "Bo Leictreach GreenPlay Festival," featuring new 10-minute green plays by Irish playwrights. They'll be presented at a 1794 stone farmhouse Miller and Scuffle bought last year.
Bo Leictreach, which is Gaelic for "Electric Cow," started as the Electric Cow GreenPlay Festival in 2011, when Selkie Theatre staged 10-minute green plays by eight regional playwrights at Illick's Mill in Bethlehem. The plays, all variations on eco-green themes, were site-specific and staged throughout the mill and the grounds.
Miller and Scuffle were invited to take the original concept to Ireland in the fall of 2011, where Bo Leictreach was co-produced by Selkie Theatre with Irish theaters Jasango Theatre and Birr Theatre & Arts Centre.
Irish playwrights were asked to submit original 10-minute plays on eco themes. Scuffle says the response was tremendous, and the judges were hard-pressed to whittle the list to the 13 plays that were performed.
Selkie has chosen six of the original 13 plays to present this weekend and will stage the other seven at Anam Cara Farm in the fall.
The plays are "Overheard in the Bar of Dooley's Hotel, Birr" by Lorca Gitano; "Draw A Line in the Water" by Patrick Collins and John O'Dowd; "That Old Chestnut" by Anna de Suin, Dave Fahy, Jenny Coughlan and Paul Farrell; "Hard Water" by Jane McNulty; "The Irresistible Attraction of Clonshannon Bog" by Stephen Goldsmith, and "The Mallard" by James Johnson.
"The new Irish plays in Bo are an unexpected pleasure, a wild mix of satire, humor, compassion and smarts," Miller says.
Scuffle says the topics include a "very unusual take on fracking," wind energy, conserving water, preserving land, consumerism and stewardship.
Directing the green plays are Miller, Jack Armstrong, Pat Kelly and Virginia Wilson.
The acting ensemble includes John Corl, Kevin Deely, Pat Kelly, Jeanie Olah, Marcy Hake Repp, Thomas Rush, Peter Sanchez, Kate Scuffle, Jim Vivian and Brian Welsko.
The performances will be both inside the farmhouse and outside in the gardens and by the Jordan Creek, and end with a candle-lit reading in the farmhouse great room as the sun sets, followed by an Irish-themed Meet The Artists reception, Scuffle says. She says the audience will be asked to walk, stand and sit throughout the performances.
"We've created just over an hour of darkly funny, smart, sexy readings," she says. "The plays are really sly and really smart. They're more playful than the American plays were."
The performances will be accompanied by live Celtic music by Rick Weaver.
Bo Leictreach is another of the "parlor performances," in which concerts or theater pieces are presented in a small, intimate space, planned for Anam Cara Farm.
The farm's name is Gaelic for "soul teacher" and was inspired by Irish poet/spiritual writer John O'Donohue's book "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom." Miller and Scuffle plan to make the venue, which has a "rural feel" but is close to Allentown, a performing arts center or artists' retreat with programming throughout the year.
Scuffle says seating for the event is limited and advance reservations are recommended.
•"Bo Leictreach: The GreenPlay Festival," 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Anam Cara Farm, 2317 Minnich Road, South Whitehall Township. Tickets: $15. 484-241-9591, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.selkietheatre.org.
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