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Critically-acclaimed Irish play makes its American debut at Villanova Theatre

Stacey Gregg's stirring, poignant LAGAN to premiere Feb. 7-19

Critically-acclaimed Irish play makes its American debut at Villanova Theatre

VILLANOVA, PA - Villanova Theatre proudly presents the U.S. premiere of Stacey Gregg's imaginative and innovative play Lagan, directed by Villanova alumna Kathryn MacMillan ('01). Set in post-Troubles Belfast, Lagan transcends time and place in its exploration of history, legacy, and the impact of war. In a poetic and rhythmic collage of voices, ten lives act as tributaries feeding into a single river -- the Lagan, which flows through Northern Ireland and its capital city. Lagan will flow through Villanova Theatre February 7-19, 2017.

Stacey Gregg, a star on the rise in Irish theatre, has crafted a thrilling kaleidoscope of stories in this critically-acclaimed new work. Lagan is built on a foundation of interlocking monologues from ten characters in four families. Though these characters are connected by blood, circumstance, or country, they have been cut off from one another by intergenerational conflicts, politics, religion, and the inability to be vulnerable. Together they paint an engrossing portrait of neighbors who have witnessed the tumult of war and the sudden, disorienting calm of peace.

Director Kathryn MacMillan says, "The play shows two sides to Belfast -- the fast-paced international city and the memory of a hardscrabble, sometimes violent center of the sectarian Troubles -- and some of its characters are left behind in the 'new Belfast.' It's a timely play for an American audience, as our political season has revealed a class of Americans who feel abandoned by globalism, culture, and technology."According to the production's dramaturg, Rachel O'Hanlon Rodriguez, "Lagan is a beautiful testament to both the pain we carry and our hopes for the future, as well as a call to action for us to begin embracing each other as fellow human beings who share the same capacity for light and darkness. In our current world, which is constantly shifting and filled with violence and acts of terror, Lagan is a reminder that such traumas live long after the fighting has stopped."

This production comes on the heels of last year's announcement that Villanova University has received a $1 million commitment from the Connelly Foundation to support a new Center for Irish Studies.  This gift will support Villanova's ongoing partnership with The Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre. The Villanova-Abbey exchange brings Ireland's preeminent theatre practitioners to the University's campus to offer graduate and undergraduate courses, as well as workshops, conferences, lectures and other events. The joint venture enables a scholarly exchange giving Villanova students the opportunity to travel to Dublin to intern and study at The Abbey Theatre. This spring, Villanova welcomes guest artists from the Abbey for a variety of events (full details below).

Lagan runs at Villanova Theatre from February 7-19th, 2017. Following the performance on Thursday, February 16th Villanova Theatre will host Speaker's Night featuring the insights of Owen McCafferty (see full biographical information below), as well as those of the production's director and dramaturg.

Villanova Theatre is located on the Villanova University campus in Vasey Hall (at Lancaster & Ithan Aves.). Performances will be held Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students, M.A. in Theatre alumni, and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-S, 12 -5 p.m.) in person, by phone: (610) 519-7474, or online at