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Arts & Entertainment

Making Brendan

Ronan Noone on the process and the play

Click on the slide show above to listen to playwright Ronan Noone discuss his play Brendan.

Love, loss, and the struggle for belonging are the central themes of Brendan, a new play by BU alum Ronan Noone (GRS’01). The title character, a young Irish immigrant, is marking his fifth year in America by earning his citizenship, but the loss of his mother makes him keenly aware of the remaining ties to his homeland. In Noone’s words, the play is “just a little bit off center from being truly American, and definitely not Irish.”

The work, which is Noone’s first set in America, also strikes new ground for the school of theatre at the College of Fine Arts, which has created a new play-development program that allows playwrights to put on their new pieces with CFA students. Brendan is the first production to emerge from the new program, which Jim Petosa, the director of the school of theatre, says “provides playwrights with workshop productions of new works in progress that help the writers fulfill their vision, whether through small-scale studio presentations or fully realized mainstage productions.”

Noone’s plays were staged in workshops at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University while he was a student in the GRS Creative Writing Program’s graduate playwriting program, but his work has gone on to receive wide acclaim since his graduation in 2001. One of his earlier plays, The Lepers of Baile Baiste, won the 2002 National Student Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and shared the Independent Reviewers of New England award for best new play with another of his works, The Blowin of Baile Gall. He was named Best Young Playwright by Boston Magazine in 2003 and served as a Playwriting Fellow for the Huntington Theatre Company in 2005. Noone’s most recent play, The Atheist, is being performed at Center Stage in New York City until December 23.

Brendan, directed by Justin Waldman, is playing at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., December 7 through 10 and 14 through 17. Thursday shows are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. There will also be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 16.

Tickets are $10 for the general public; $8 for BU alumni, students, and senior citizens. Members of the BU community receive one free ticket per BU ID at the door on the day of the performance, subject to availability. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bostontheatrescene.com, by phone at 617-933-8600, or in person at the Calderwood Pavilion box office.

Ana Rivas (COM’07) contributed to this slide show.