Full Length Play, Drama / 4m, 4f
An adaptation of William Butler Yeats' six one-act plays and some of his most stirring poems about the Celtic hero Cuchulain, arranged in the chronological order of Cuchulain's life and drawing exclusively on Yeats' own magnificent poetry.
Reviews"The innovative Sword Against the Sea...combines the beauty of Yeats's original language with a dramatic structure that makes the tales come alive on stage." - Robert Cullen, Sligo Weekender, Sligo, Ireland
- Mild Adult Themes
- Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Setting: Ancient Ireland. Play can be performed on a simple set that includes a few key scenic elements like a well, a wooden bed as well as a scrim curtain through which some scenes can be viewed as taking place in a distant or mysterious spiritual realm.
- Additional Features: Play w/ Music
- Features / Contains: Period Costumes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
- Chorus Size: No Chorus
CUCHULAIN (pron. Coo-HULL-en) – Mighty warrior in the ancient province of Ulster.
GUARDIAN OF THE WELL/HAWK WOMAN – A Woman of the Sidhe (pron. SHEE). A shape-changer with other guises: FIRST WOMAN, FAND and MORRIGU.(pron. MAWR-RIH-GOO)
OLD MAN – Doubles as BLIND MAN and BRICRUI.
AOIFE (pron. EE-fa) – Cuchulain’s Mistress. Doubles as THIRD WOMAN.
EMER (pron. EE-mer) – Cuchulain’s wife BLIND MAN FOOL – Doubles as SPIRIT OF CUCHULAIN WOMAN #1, WOMAN #2 and WOMAN #3, three mysterious peasant women
CONNLA (pron. COHN-lah) – Out-of-wedlock son of Cuchulain and Aoife.
EITHNE INGUBA (pron. EHTH-nah ING-oo-bah) – Doubles as SECOND WOMAN.
BRICRIU (pron. BRIH-croo) – Mysterious creature of the sea inhabiting CUCHULAIN’s body.
SPIRIT OF CUCHULAIN
- Ensemble cast
- Expandable casting
Conceived for 4 male and 4 female actors, with doubling as indicated. The play calls for all characters, except THE POET, to wear full or half masks, though Emer, Eithne Inguba and Aoife can also be played without masks. The cast is expandable by removing some or all of the suggested doubling.
Sword Against the Sea was first developed under the title Stations of Cuchulain at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in April, 1999. The play was first professionally produced in the summer of 2005 at SummerStage (now the Crossroads Repertory Theatre) in Terre Haute, Indiana.