On Thursday, Sept. 28, theater lovers alike gathered in the Redfern Arts Center to watch the American premiere of Moonfish Theatre’s, “Star of The Sea.” The play follows three characters, Máire Ní Dhúáin, Lord Merridith and Pius Mulvey, over the course of 30 years.
The story begins prior to the Irish Potato famine, and the audience is able to watch these characters grow from childhood and follow their stories as they head to New York on a Famine ship. “Star of The Sea” is told through a series of flashbacks and flash forwards, which are done through special effects.
One of the signature elements the Moonfish Theatre uses to captivate its audiences is bilingual theatre. Using a combination of Irish and English, the performers showcase how the famine impacted the Irish language in a way that it never quite recovered from.
First-year Kacie Palmacci was one of the many people who attended the show and explained her thoughts on it being in both Irish and English.
“I thought it was great because you didn’t have to actually pay attention to the words as much. You had to pay attention more to the feeling of what was going on,” Palmacci said.
Although a large majority of the show was in Irish, translations and objects were projected on a screen that was also part of the set. By doing this, the audience was still able to follow along with what was happening in times of confusion.
“I thought the Foley artists were super effective at portraying the story,” Palmacci stated.
Another student who had a similar positive response to the show was first-year Alyssa Taylor. “I liked the acting and the special effects. You can kind of tell what’s outside, what’s inside and what’s a flashback,” Taylor elaborated. “I don’t watch a lot of plays, but it was unlike any other play I’ve seen. I’ve never had to read subtitles for a play before, so I thought that was pretty cool.”
After the last scene came to a close, the cast was met with a standing ovation from the audience.
However the show is not where this story ends. Leading up to the performance on Thursday, the Redfern Arts Center had various events throughout the week giving information about the play.
In the Main Lobby, the Redfern Arts Center had an exhibit
called “An Gorta Mór: A Journey through the Great Hunger of Ireland and Star of the Sea,” that was on display through Friday, Sept. 28.
After the show, audience members had the option to stay after for a Question and Answer discussion with the cast of “Star of The Sea,” and on Sept. 29, a Tech Talk was held with the Moonfish Technical Team discussing some of the special effects that went into creating the show.
The group’s next stop is the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Oct. 3 and 4.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at email@example.com