Arizona Theatre Company presents ‘Outside Mullingar’ starting Feb. 15

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Directed by David Ivers, Arizona Theatre Company’s rendition of “Outside Mullingar” will take place in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater on Feb. 15 through March 4.

Ivers, the artistic director at ATC, says the production is a mixture of drama, romantic comedy and classic Irish oppression. Fundamentally, though, it’s a “beautifully crafted, feel good piece.” The four person play has a flare of compelling intimacy woven through the writing.

“Outside Mullingar,” a Tony nominee for Best Play, is filled with hilarious sequences, and at the heart of it, carries the legacy of family, Ivers says. If the story isn’t enough to bring you in, the production will surely wow the audience when it starts to rain on stage.

This is the first time “Outside Mullingar” has been put on by ATC. According to Ivers, ATC’s production won’t be any different from the original production created by John Patrick Shanley because well-made plays don’t require reinvention. And it is always a good time to have a story with a happy ending.

ATC announced their 2018-19 season on Tuesday. Ivers says this will be an especially exciting season because people can sense that there is a reinvigorated commitment to the organization.

For more information on “Outside Mulligar” and the upcoming season, go here.

TED SIMONS: ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY'S LATEST PRODUCTION IS OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HIT FILM MOON STRUCK. OUTSIDE MULLINGAR IS THE STORY OF ANTHONY AND ROSEMARY, TWO INTROVERTED MIDDLE AGED OUTCASTS. º

ACTORS: ROSEMARY IS STANDING OUT THERE IN THE RAIN. SHE IS SMOKING. SHE ALWAYS MANAGES TO FIND A DRY SPOT THOUGH NOT SO MUCH FOR HERSELF IT'S FOR THE SMOKE. THAT IS NORMAL. WHO LIKES PEOPLE, NOBODY? I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING I'M MORE WITH NATURE.

TED SIMONS: OUTSIDE MULLINGAR DIRECTED BY ATC’S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID IVERS WHO JOINS US NOW AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

DAVID IVERS: THANK YOU. GLAD TO BE HERE.

TED SIMONS: YOU HAVE BEEN IN TOWN A COUPLE OF MONTHS.

DAVID IVERS: A FEW MONTHS AND WE MOVED TO ARIZONA REALLY IN LATE JULY BUT I HAD SOME STUFF TO WRAP UP SO I WAS GONE BACK AND NOW I'M FINALLY KIND OF HERE SO IT'S BEEN GREAT.

TED SIMONS: FROM WHERE?

DAVID IVERS: MOST IMMEDIATELY I WAS RUNNING THE UTAH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL IN SOUTHERN UTAH AND MOVED FROM HERE BUT I GREW UP IN CALIFORNIA.

TED SIMONS: SO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR.

DAVID IVERS: I AM.

TED SIMONS: OF THE ARIZONA THEATRE WHAT DOES AN ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DO?

DAVID IVERS: MAINLY I'M SORT OF RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VISION OF THE COMPANY. SO IT'S A COZY MODEL AND CEO MODEL IN MOST THEATRES. THERE IS MYSELF AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND A MANAGING DIRECTOR AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SORT OF FIDUCIARY ADMINISTRATIVE WING OF THE ORGANIZATION. I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ARTISTIC PROGRAMMING, SO SEASON SELECTION OF PLAYS, THE HIRING THE ARTISTS, PUTTING TOGETHER THE KIND OF CULTURAL AND EMOTIONAL VISION FOR THE THEATRE AND HOW IT CONNECTS TO OUR COMMUNITIES HERE IN ARIZONA.

TED SIMONS: AND DIRECTING.

DAVID IVERS: YEP.

TED SIMONS: OUTSIDE MULLINGAR SO YOU DIRECTED THIS THING.

DAVID IVERS: I DID.

TED SIMONS: LET'S FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT IS IT A DRAMA? IS IT A ROMANTIC COMEDY? IS IT DARK? WHAT IS IT?

DAVID IVERS: ALL THOSE THINGS BECAUSE IT'S IRISH SO FUNDAMENTALLY IT DEFINITELY HAS A BIT OF OPPRESSION LIKE A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE TOUCHING ON THE LANDSCAPE OF IRELAND BUT FUNDAMENTALLY IT'S A PRETTY DARN BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED FEEL GOOD PIECE.

TED SIMONS: SET IN IRELAND.

DAVID IVERS: YES. IT'S SET IN MULLINGAR.

TED SIMONS: SO MULLINGAR IS A PLACE?

DAVID IVERS: IT'S A REAL PLACE IN CENTRAL IRELAND.

TED SIMONS: WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR OF MOON STRUCK AND ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN MOON STRUCK KNOWS SHARP DIALOG, PRETTY QUICK LANGUAGE ORIENTED IS THE PLAY PRETTY MUCH MORE THAN LANGUAGE AND SETTING AND MORE THAN STYLE?

DAVID IVERS: I WOULD SAY IT'S BEAUTIFULLY AND EFFICIENTLY WRITTEN BUT THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF POETRY TO IT CERTAINLY BECAUSE OF THE IRISH DIALECT ANYWAY THERE IS A SORT OF MALADY TO IT BUT IT'S REALLY ASTONISHINGLY WRITTEN. THE RELATIONSHIPS ARE SO WELL DRAWN IN TERMS OF CHARACTERS IT'S ONLY A FOUR-PERSON PLAY SO IT HAS A SORT OF INTIMACY TO IT THAT IS REALLY COMPELLING.

TED SIMONS: I THINK WE HAVE SHOTS AND STILL PHOTOS OF THE PLAY. IT'S BEEN OUT FOR A LITTLE BIT, IT'S NOT BRAND NEW WERE YOU FAMILIAR WITH PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS?

DAVID IVERS: NO NOT NECESSARILY PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS BUT I KNEW OF THE PLAY AND IT'S ACTUALLY THE ONLY PLAY THAT I SORT OF HAD A HAND IN CHOOSING THE SEASON. MY PREDECESSOR KIND OF PICKED THE SEASON WE ARE IN BUT ASKED ME WHAT I WAS INTERESTED IN DOING AND PUT SOME PERIMETERS AROUND IT AND I SAID OUTSIDE MULLINGAR.

TED SIMONS: WHY DID YOU PICK THIS ONE?

DAVID IVERS: NOMINATED FOR THE TONY AWARD IN 2013 AND I THINK IT'S THE BEST PLAY THAT JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY HAS WRITTEN. FIRST OF ALL IT'S WILDLY ROMANTIC IN THE QUIRKIEST OF WAYS AND I HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR THAT AND IT'S DELICIOUSLY COMIC. I MEAN IT'S JUST I WOULD SAY THE LAST 30 MINUTES OF IT ARE SOME OF THE MOST BRILLIANTLY, HILARIOUSLY WRITTEN SEQUENCES THAT I'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. SO AND IT HAS AT ITS CORE IT HAS LEGACY OF FAMILY AT THE CENTER OF IT SO IN THAT WAY IT OFFERS EVERYTHING AND IT RAINS ON STAGE.

TED SIMONS: SO THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF TRICKERY GOING ON THERE.

DAVID IVERS: THERE’S SOME THEATRICAL MAGIC MY FRIEND.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT WELL I WILL HAVE TO CHECK THAT ONE OUT. YOU MENTIONED AT THE END THE COMEDY REALLY IS THAT THE SIGN OF A GOOD PLAY WOULD HAVE TO BE THAT IT BUILDS, YOU DON'T WANT TO FALL OFF A CLIFF.

DAVID IVERS: NO, YOU GOT SET UP, SET THE PINS KNOCK THEM DOWN.

TED SIMONS: IT REALLY IS LIKE A CLASSIC NOVEL THERE IS AN ARC THERE.

DAVID IVERS: HUGE ARC AND LOSS IN IT, YOU KNOW, AND THERE IS ECHOES OF LONELINESS AND THERE IS A BIT OF A FAIRY TALE. THERE’S A LOVELY SENSE OF ROSEMARY IS PREDETERMINED THAT A CERTAIN SEQUENCE AND CERTAIN SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES WILL HAPPEN IN HER LIFE IF SHE HAS TO WILL IT BEYOND ALL BELIEF AND THERE ARE OTHERS THAT ARE DEAD SET AGAINST IT AND THERE IN LIES CONFLICT AND THERE IN LIES WHAT WE PAY FOR WHICH IS TO WATCH PEOPLE OVERCOME CONFLICT TYPICALLY. WE MAY HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT IS COMING BUT IT'S THE JOURNEY GETTING THERE THAT MAKES IT SO TERRIFIC AND JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY MADE THIS THING STUNNINGLY COMPLEX IN THE WAY IT TWISTS AND TURNS TO GET TO THE PLACE WHERE WE HAVE A CATHARTIC EXPERIENCE.

TED SIMONS: DID YOU SEE THE PLAY FIRST BEFORE YOU READ OR DID YOU READ THE PLAY AND THEN SEE IT OR BE FAMILIAR WITH IT?

DAVID IVERS: NO, I READ IT TO BE FAMILIAR WITH IT AND YOU KNOW IT WAS PRODUCED A LOT OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, SINCE ITS ORIGINAL BROADWAY RUN WHICH WAS A COUPLE FEW YEARS AGO. AND THEN IT WAS PRODUCED IN THE REGIONAL THEATRE MARKET AND HASN'T BEEN PRODUCED HERE AT THE ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY SO IT FELT LIKE A REALLY GOOD PLAY FOR RIGHT NOW. IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD TIME TO HAVE A HAPPY ENDING.

TED SIMONS: AND THIS IS I THINK IS APROPOS BECAUSE OF YOUR SHAKESPEARE BACKGROUND. PEOPLE WILL SET SHAKESPEARE FROM OUTER SPACE TO STONE AGE AND ALL POINTS IN BETWEEN WHEN IT COMES TO A PLAY LIKE THIS HOW MUCH DO YOU MESS WITH THE ORIGINAL COPY?

DAVID IVERS: WELL YOU CAN'T REALLY BECAUSE I MEAN, IT'S A LIVING PLAY WRITE, RIGHT. WE HAVE TO GIVE ROYALTIES AND RIGHTS AND IF I SAID HEY I WANT TO SET OUTSIDE MULLINGAR ON THE MOON AND JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY'S AGENT PEOPLE WOULD HAVE A FEW THINGS TO SAY ABOUT IT. THERE ARE WELL MADE PLAYS AND IN MY OPINION WELL MADE PLAYS DON'T REALLY REQUIRE A LOT OF REINVENTION. AS A MATTER OF FACT I MOSTLY BELIEVE THAT CONSTRAINT IS THE MARK OF TRUE ARTISTRY. THAT UNDERSTANDING THE MATERIAL AND SERVING THE MATERIAL IS THE WAY TO EXCELLENCE. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN INTERPRETATION CAN DO THAT BUT IT HAS TO BE IN MY OPINION EXTRAORDINARILY WELL THOUGHT OUT. WE JUST HAD A WELL THOUGHT OUT PRODUCTION OF MAN OF LA MANCHA THAT EMBRACED A KIND OF RENOVATION THAT WAS EXCEPTIONALLY THRILLING BUT IT'S RARE.

TED SIMONS: YES, I SAW THAT AND I'VE SEEN A COUPLE OF YOUR PRODUCTIONS SO FAR AND YOU TALKED ABOUT THE SEASON SO FAR AND SEEMS WHEN I GO IT'S STANDING OVATIONS AND EVERYONE IS HAPPY.

DAVID IVERS: THIS SEASON HAS BEEN GREAT. THERE’S BEEN A BOOST WITH THE NEW LEADERSHIP MYSELF AND MANAGING DIRECTOR BILLY RUSSO CAME ON TOGETHER AND WE JUST ANNOUNCED NEXT SEASON TODAY AND THAT IS GENERATING SOME EXCITEMENT AND THE LAST TWO SHOWS MAN OF LA MANCHA AND NOW MULLINGAR HAVE SURPASSED THEIR TICKET GOAL BY A TERRIFIC MARGIN AND THAT’S A REALLY GREAT THING. I THINK PEOPLE ARE SENSING THERE IS A REINVIGORATED COMMITMENT TO THE ORGANIZATION, BILLY AND I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT DOING THIS, BEING OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, BEING MUCH MORE INVOLVED AND VISIBLE IN OUR PEER INSTITUTIONS AND OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND REALLY LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY WE SERVE AND SO.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU THINK I'VE ASKED THIS QUESTIONS IN YEARS PAST AND IT HAS BEEN A ONE-WAY QUESTION TECHNOLOGY SCREAMS EVERYONE IS ON THE INTERNET AND TWEETING AND FACEBOOKING AND STUFF AND THE IMPACT ON THE ARTS HAS USUALLY BEEN NEGATIVE OVER THE YEARS DO YOU THINK THERE IS ALMOST I GOT TO GET AWAY FROM THE SCREEN, I WANT TO SEE HUMAN BEINGS DOING HUMAN THINGS IN PERSON?

DAVID IVERS: I HOPE SO RIGHT IT'S LIKE YOU KNOW IT'S SORT OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PHONE WITH PHONE BANKS WHERE CAN I TALK TO SOMEONE.

TED SIMONS: EXACTLY.

DAVID IVERS: AND I SORT OF LOVINGLY JOKE WITH OUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT, I DID THIS IN MY PREVIOUS INSTITUTION THAT IF IT WERE UP TO ME OUR BILLBOARDS WOULD SAY ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY WHY DON'T YOU SIT DOWN FOR TWO HOURS? YOU KNOW, LITERALLY, THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING AMONGST YOUR COMMUNITY WITNESSING TOGETHER, THAT EVENT IS SHRINKING IN OUR SOCIETY WHETHER PEOPLE FIND IT THROUGH RELIGION OR AYSO SOCCER OR WHATEVER IT IS, THE THEATRE AND ITS HONORING OF THE SPOKEN AND WRITTEN WORD CANNOT DIE AND AS LONG AS I'M ALIVE IT WON'T. IT'S ESSENTIAL WHO WE ARE, ESSENTIAL TO BEING A GROWN UP CITY AND HAVING A LITERATE CITIZENRY AND IT MAKES ME SAD THAT EVEN THOUGH I'M ON THE SCREEN A LOT WE WOULD THINK ABOUT THAT SOMEHOW REPLACING THIS ESSENTIAL PIECE OF ART.

TED SIMONS: WE HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS LEFT SO YOU MENTIONED NEXT YEAR'S SCHEDULE, GIVE ME ONE PRODUCTION THAT YOU THINK WILL STAND OUT.

DAVID IVERS: ALL SIX.

TED SIMONS: ALL SIX?

DAVID IVERS: NATIVE GARDENS, ERMA BOMBECK, THE MUSIC MAN, AUGUST WILSON’S TWO TRAINS RUNNING, AMERICAN MARIACHI AND A NEW AMERICAN PLAY CALLED THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE IT'S LIKE ASKING ME WHICH OF MY CHILDREN I LIKE BETTER.

TED SIMONS: SO YOU GOT MUSIC MAN TO A PREMIER AND ALL POINTS IN BETWEEN. WELL CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT SEASON SO FAR AND GOOD LUCK FOR NEXT SEASON AND GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

DAVID IVERS: REALLY NICE TO SEE YOU. THANKS.

David Ivers: Artistic Director, Arizona Theatre Company

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