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Billy Irish - Full Length Play

Billy Irish

Thomas Babe

Full Length Play

3m, 1f

ISBN: 9780822201205

The scene is a rundown farm in Vermont where two brothers, Billy Irish…

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Description | Characters | Author
: DPS Acting Edition

Full Length Play


Exterior Set

The scene is a rundown farm in Vermont where two brothers, Billy Irish and Joe Witness, tell each other tales of their conversations with the likes of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan and (as they also imagine themselves to be Jesse and Frank James) of the men they have killed in the course of their criminal careers. When a young couple appear, claiming that their car has broken down, Billy and Joe suspect a trap—a premonition that is borne out when the boy and girl shortly steal back, announcing that they are Bonnie and Clyde and taking the two brothers captive. When all four are then encircled and held at bay by an unseen force, which gives them two minutes to surrender, the line between fantasy and reality is blurred still further and yet, somehow, also illuminated by the ensuing talk of Vietnam, political assassinations, religious fanatics, Charles Manson and other people and events of America's turbulent recent past. In the end Billy shoots Joe and then goes out to face a fusillade of bullets himself—but not before helping the two young people to escape, freeing them to pursue the disturbing destiny for which, sadly, the disjointed times have surely conditioned them.
First presented as a joint production of the New York Shakespeare Festival and The Manhattan Theatre Club, this singular and brilliantly inventive play deftly combines the real and the imagined as it probes into American myths and mores and their power to both enhance and distort reality—for good or ill.


3m, 1f


Thomas Babe

Thomas Babe (March 13, 1941 – December 6, 2000) was an American playwright, writing mainly during the mid 70s and 80s. He was the son of Thomas James and Ruth Babe. He died of lung cancer on December 6, 2000, in a hospice in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of 59. Babe's work brought together many elements of American history and cultural mythology. He was fascinated by the concept of the ... view full profile

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