'The Seafarer' at the Phoenix 

The Phoenix Theatre will produce the Indiana premiere of Irish playwright Conor McPherson's The Seafarer. McPherson, considered one of the best contemporary Irish playwrights, made his National Theatre debut as both author and director with The Seafarer in September 2006. The Seafarer moved to Broadway in October 2007 and received some rave reviews, as well as 2008 Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Director of a Play.

Erik Allen Friedman, director of the Phoenix Theatre production, says that the play is "an Irish ghost story about our need for redemption and our struggles with our demons," and that "the story is simple but the play lives underneath the words." Based on the Old English poem by the same name, the play takes place on Christmas Eve in Baldoyle, an Irish coastal village northeast of Dublin, in the rundown house of the brothers Harkin: Richard, an aging, boisterous bachelor who has recently lost his sight in a dumpster-diving accident, and Sharkey, who lost his job because of an affair with his employer's wife. Sharkey's ex-girlfriend has been living with the brothers' friend Nicky, which Sharkey is none too happy about. Regardless, their other friend, Ivan, invites Nicky to join them for a Christmas Eve game of poker. Nicky arrives with a mysterious guest: the suspiciously well-dressed Mr. Lockhart. As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that Sharkey owes an old debt to the Devil, and The Seafarer will culminate in a card game for his soul.

The Seafarer will be performed on the Mainstage Feb. 5-28, Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25; $15 for ages 24 and under. All Thursdays are CheapSeats nights: All tickets are just $15. To purchase tickets, call the theater, 749 N. Park Ave., at 317-635-PLAY or go to www.phoenixtheatre.org.

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