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Joan O'Dwyer, Wilde Playhouse

~ Friday, June 1, 2007

Joan O’Dwyer is the brawn behind Wilde Playhouse, the new theatre — cum improv, open mic, sesiun, & espresso/wine bar — which opened this winter at 135 Congress.

People have asked her: Why Irish? Why theatre? Why improv? Why now? What the heck? Wha’s happenin? Wazzup? Wherefore art thou?

Well, Joan became acutely agog over Irish literature when she and her daughter, Whitney, spent a year in Ireland spanning two centuries. Joan wrote a master�s degree in creative writing at Trinity College, Dublin. Some of her teachers were the renowned poets Brendan Kennelly, Gerald Dawe and Medbh McGuckian, to all of whom she is eternally grateful for repeatedly pointing her in the direction of the mna — not fir (women, not men).

Whitney enjoyed her transition year classes. She wore pleated plaid skirts, made rafts from tree trunks and offered up her typical California accent for intense study and sincere mimicry by her classmates.

Whitney and Joan whiled away many pleasant hours in Dublin going to classes, attending the theatre and watching each other’s hair pouff and spoinng in the humidity.

But Joan says she and Whitney probably learned as much from people on the street when they asked directions from them � the details of which afterwards they could never remember, being caught up with the sheer language, personalities and spectacle of said wonderful Irish director-people.

Besides, most of the directions concerned passing specific pubs and turning left at certain churches, none of which they could ever locate. Consequently, both Joan and Whitney spent an inordinate amount of time wandering aimlessly about the Irish countryside, but perfectly happy nonetheless.

Now that she’s finally wound (wended? weaned?) her way back to Tucson and answered all questions for all time, Joan hopes to meet you when you come to Wilde Playhouse.

We’re not just Irish, folks! We’re Wilde!

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