ClassicsFest 2010: ‘Juno and the Paycock’

As ClassicsFest 2010 unspools, we’ll be featuring insights from the project initiators about what inspired them to choose their plays and their experience of working on them.

Juno and the Paycock
by Sean O’Casey

Many years ago I saw a wonderful film called Zorba the Greek. The most wonderful sequence in the movie for me was when Zorba, whose new wife has just died, whose whole life is in ruin, suddenly runs outside and begins to dance. He dances till he is exhausted. His young English friend is bewildered and asks him why, when his life has become such a disaster, why he was dancing. Zorba’s reply is, “Sometimes a man feels so much all he can do is dance.” That’s what I feel about O’Casey, only his characters sing in the midst of calamities. And if they’re not singing O’Casey is in his writing. Called “the greatest prose writer in our time,” O’Casey’s writing sings for his characters. With humor and song he blasts the political forces at work in Ireland in 1922 and gives us indelible human beings who meet, who clash, who drink, who love, and who sometimes survive. Juno and the Paycock is one of his greatest plays, and is as pertinent today as it ever was.

– Allan Miller, Director

Juno and the Paycock plays as a “First Look” on July 17 at 3pm.

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