Nov. 13, 2009
Contact: Pam Joseph (419) 995-8284 or Lesley King Fry (419) 995-8671
The Reluctant Banshee brings Irish fairytale to stage
More than 2100 students will be on campus for the show
The Ohio State Lima Department of Theatre presents its Theatre for Young Audiences, The Reluctant Banshee: An Irish Fairytale, written and directed by Brian Keegan. Public performances are at 7 p.m., Fri., Nov. 20, and 2 p.m., Sun., Nov. 22, 2009, in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts in Reed Hall on the Ohio State Lima Campus.
More than 2100 area school children from five counties are expected to attend throughout the week. Elementary schools include Liberty, Freedom, Golden Bridge, Elida, Perry, St. Rose, Shawnee, Heritage, St. Charles, St. Gerard, the Learning Castle Daycare, Independence, Spencerville, First Baptist Daycare, New Bremen, Waynesfield-Goshen, St. Joseph, Hardin Central, ESPY, Parkway and Noah’s Ark Daycare. Students from Coldwater, Kalida and Fort Jennings high schools will also be attending the show.
In Irish folklore, the banshee is a female spirit or fairy considered to be a harbinger of death who appears to offer a plaintive wailing announcement at a death. As the heroine of The Reluctant Banshee, Lylah Clare, puts it, "A banshee is not very nice!" That has been the perception of the banshee in folklore for many years. The Reluctant Banshee turns those long-held perceptions on their ears by exploring the idea that banshees are grossly misunderstood and that they provide a valuable service to ailing humans. The voice of the Reluctant Banshee is not the wailing of old, but an angelic song that welcomes a departed spirit to the afterlife.
"Though our play deals with the subject of death in no uncertain terms, it does so with a gentleness that is in keeping with a great body of dramatic and other literatures, in counterpoint to the brutal narratives of Brothers Grimm and others, including Disney - think Bambi and The Lion King," said Brian Keegan, writer and director of The Reluctant Banshee. "We are not about engendering fear, but rather an acceptance that death is a natural part of life and that there may be assistance in our world to embrace the inevitable."
Ticket prices for the public performances are $6 for adults, $5 for students and $4 for children under 12 and seniors. For more information, contact the Box Office at (419) 995-8382. A Beat Michigan cookie reception will be held following the Friday night performance.
Editors’ Note: School performances will at 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on Tues., Nov. 17, 2009 – Fri., Nov. 20, 2009. Several classes will go on a tour of the theatre shop following the 10:45 a.m. show on Tue., Nov. 17, 2009. Actors will do a follow-up visit to Shawnee Elmwood Elementary from 9 a.m. to noon, Fri., Dec. 5, 2009. A list of the cast is available upon request.