The Stars and Stripes Shaded Green

Irish American Play Readings

Brian Friel’s Phildelphia, Here I Come! and other Irish plays have told the stories of the Irish who emigrated to America. But what about the stories of the Irish Americans, the Irish who settled in America, and their descendants?

This series of public readings will explore plays written by Irish Americans and about Irish Americans, will examine the connections between Irish and American myth, and will shine an Irish light on works of the Irish American canon. These plays were written an ocean away from their ancestral home yet they are infused with the cadences of Irish thought and language.

Garry Hynes will direct a company of 10 actors who will bring to life three Irish American plays: Harvey by Mary Chase, Hogan’s Goat by William Alfred and Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire.

Harvey (1944)

By Mary Chase (1906-1981)

Thursday 17 November, 7pm

Born Mary Agnes McDonough Coyle in Denver, Colorado, Mary Chase was a journalist, playwright and children’s novelist. Raised Irish Catholic, Chase was greatly influenced by Irish myths told to her by her mother.

The mythical figure of the púca informed her most famous play, Harvey, a Broadway hit that ran for more than 1,700 performances and earned Chase a Pulitzer Prize. A film adaptation followed in 1950 starring James Stewart.

Harvey is a comedy-drama about a man whose best friend is a giant invisible white rabbit and the trouble caused when his sister seeks psychiatric care for him.

Hogan's Goat (1965)

By William Alfred (1922-1999)

Friday 18 November, 7pm

Playwright, poet and Harvard professor of English literature, William Alfred was born into an Irish family in Brooklyn. His 1965 blank verse play, Hogan’s Goat, centres on a mayoral contest between Irish Americans in Brooklyn in 1890 and was influenced by the experiences of Hogan’s immigrant great grandmother.

Starring Faye Dunaway, the play opened off-Broadway before transferring to the East 74th Street Theatre, winning Alfred a Drama Desk Award for Playwriting. A subsequent musical adaptation of the play in 1970 was a critical and commercial failure before a television movie adaptation was made in 1972.

Good People (2011)

By David Lindsay-Abaire (1969-)

Saturday 19 November, 7pm

Playwright, lyricist and screenwriter, David Lindsay-Abaire grew up in the Irish American working class neighbourhood of South Boston, Massachusetts. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007.

Lindsay-Abaire's Irish American hometown is the setting for Good People, his 2011 play about class struggles, moral dilemmas and fateful connections. Margie has lost another job and is scrambling to support herself and her daughter. She reunites with a man from her past in a desperate attempt to secure her future.

Good People premiered on Broadway with Frances McDormand in the lead role; a West End production opened in 2014, starring Imelda Staunton.

Panel Discussion

Sunday 20 November, 2.30pm

To conclude the play reading series, there will be a panel discussion featuring Druid’s Artistic Director Garry Hynes and acclaimed American theatre producer Jack Viertel, who has collaborated with Garry and Druid for many years and is a guest dramaturg for The Stars and Stripes Shaded Green. The panel discussion will be chaired by Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Galway.


€10 for each play reading

€5 for the panel discussion

Ticket Bundle

€25 for all three play readings

Discount will be automatically applied when your basket contains a ticket for all three play readings

Harvey licensed by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Plays Ltd.



  • Curtis-Lee Ashqar
  • Venetia Bowe
  • Jane Brennan
  • Derbhle Crotty
  • Brian Doherty
  • Liam Heslin
  • Bosco Hogan
  • Sophie Lenglinger
  • Garrett Lombard
  • Aisling O’Sullivan

Creative Team

  • Director Garry Hynes
  • Guest Dramaturg Jack Viertel
  • Consultant and Editor Thomas Conway
  • Assistant Director Sarah Baxter

Production Team

  • Stage Manager Eavan Gribbin