The Playboy of the Western World

Solas Nua - Playboy - 1440 × 630 px

The Playboy of the Western World - US premiere production
written by Bisi Adigun and Roddy Doyle (adapted from J.M. Synge)
directed by Shanara Gabrielle

**Saturday 19th's 2:30 PM matinee has been canceled**

PWYC Previews Nov 3 & 4
Performances Nov 5 - 20
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St NE - Washington, DC 20002
Ticket Price ($45 General Admission - see box office for Pay What You Can and discount options)

*UNDERSTUDY NOTICE - The character of Malomo usually played by James J. Johnson will be played by Sulmane Maigadi for the closing weekend.

Due to the concerns of COVID and DC protocols, we have put these safety measures in place:
 Masks are required for the indoor setting.

J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World was first staged in the Abbey Theatre in 1907, depicting the humor, colloquialism, and struggle of rural life in the West of Ireland. A hundred years later the story is retold by Nigerian-Irish playwright, Bisi Adigun and one of Ireland’s best-known writers, Roddy Doyle. The original western farmers and villagers are now tough Dublin gangsters. The scallywag, runaway playboy of the story Christy Mahon is re-imagined as Nigerian refugee, Christopher Malomo. This adaptation presents modern-day, urban Ireland and highlights the changes that have occurred in the country, including the issues of immigration, inequality. The script was first commissioned by Adigun’s theatre company, Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first and only African Theatre Company.

Artistic Director Rex Daugherty shares, “Playboy is arguably Ireland’s most famous play, and this contemporary adaptation showcases the comedy and dramatic power that Synge originally captured, while simultaneously reframing the context to include the multi-cultural identity of modern Ireland. It’s a remarkable piece of writing and I’m so proud Solas Nua will be producing the US premiere!”

“a hugely entertaining, often laugh-out-loud funny…superb piece of theatre”
— The Irish Times

“Adigun and Doyle’s impulse to tell a new story through Synge honors the author and argues for the play’s continuing relevance.”
— Variety

"a marvellous adaptation…a post-modern piece reflecting contemporary Irish society…refreshingly ironic…carefully portrayed”  
— British Theatre Guide

Meet The Artists
The Playboy of the Western World

Bisi Adigun (Playwright)
Bisi is a documentarist, percussionist, performing artist, dramatist, & theatre producer/director. Before joining Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria as a senior lecturer in Oct. 2019, he was an adjunct lecturer of African Theatre & Performance Studies at Trinity College, earning his PhD in Drama. From 2000—2003, he co-presented MONO, RTE’s flagship intercultural TV magazine program. He founded Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first & only African theatre company. As its Artistic Director for over 16 years, he produced/directed 25+ productions in Ireland, Nigeria & USA. His 1st volume of plays, An Other Playboy, The Butcher Babes & Home, Sweet Home (Three Plays), were published in 2018. He is currently editing a book of essays & tributes on Ola Rotimi, the renowned playwright/director & an adaptation of Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle (Playwright)
Roddy Doyle is the author of eleven acclaimed novels, including The CommitmentsThe Van (a finalist for the Booker Prize), Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (winner of the Booker Prize), The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, A Star Called Henry, and, most recently, Smile. Doyle has also written two collections of stories, and several works for children and young adults.

Ian Armstrong

Ian Armstrong (Michael)
Ian was born in Ottawa, raised in London and considers himself a DC native. A graduate of Woodrow Wilson PHS, The Corcoran School of Art (RIP), and The Catholic University of America, Ian has performed at Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Folger Theatre, Taffety Punk Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Scena Theatre, WSC/Avant Bard, and was a member of Source Theatre Company. He has served on the faculties of The Duke Ellington School of The Arts, The Kennedy Center Theatre For Young People, and was Drama Director at McLean PHS in Va. Favorite roles include Lord Byron at Taffety Punk, King John and Titus Andronicus at WSC/Avant Bard, and Hades at Rorschach Theatre. Thanks to Adrienne Nelson

Rebecca Ballinger

Rebecca Ballinger (Pegeen)
Rebecca is an actor and comedian. Her past credits include The Outsider and Shakespeare in Love at Keegan Theatre, A Civil War Christmas and The Member of the Wedding at 1st Stage, Every Christmas Story Ever Told and Beehive at NextStop Theatre, as well as Make Way for Ducklings and Fairytales in the Sun at Adventure Theatre. She has also understudied Heroes of the Fourth Turning at Studio Theatre as well as Melancholy Play and The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Constellation Theatre. Becca has a BA in Theatre from The University of Maryland.

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Delaney Bray
Delaney is very excited to be working with Solas Nua for the first time. Previous credits include Beastgirl (sound designer) and Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie (assistant sound designer) at the Kennedy Center, as well as audio engineering credits at Round House Theater, Constellation Theater Company, and Studio Theater. Outside of DC Delaney has worked at Barrington Stage Co., Delaware Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Rex Daugherty Headshot

Rex Daugherty (Producer/Dialect Coach)
Rex is a DC based theatre artist and serves as the Artistic Director of Theatre at Solas Nua. Originally from Oklahoma City, both of his parents grew up on farms and taught him the value of hard work and good company. Rex has made the DC area his home since 2007, and he shares his life with his wife, Lee, and son, Beckett. Beckett is 5 years old and loves to crash Zoom meetings. During his 7 years with Solas Nua, Rex has garnered international acclaim for his productions and earned multiple Helen Hayes Awards & nominations. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, on the cover of American Theatre Magazine, The Irish Times and aired on RTE. Recently, his one-man show The Smuggler was listed by The New York Times as one of the best theatre productions of 2019, nationwide.

Erin Denman

Erin Denman (Sarah) 
Erin is thrilled to be working on her first show with Solas Nua. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Erin moved to DC to get her MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting in 2018. Locally, you may have seen her with Pipeline Playwrights, Flying V, and in Rorschach Theatre's Klecksography.

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Dominic DeSalvio (Associate Lighting Designer)
Dominic is excited to be making his Solas Nua debut. He has worked on shows throughout the DC area including at The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, NextStop Theatre, and Mosaic Theatre. He has also worked professionally at Shakespeare festivals, regional theaters, opera companies, dance companies, TV news studios, and live music venues across the country. A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he was also the proud recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at The Kennedy Center.

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Mary Doebel (Assistant stage manager)
Mary is a professional stage manager and actor. Mary has written, directed, and acted in her own play, produced 5 short films, was the lead in an immersive play and she was the director for an award winning 48 Hour Film Festival submission. Mary worked as a production assistant for Better Together Media Group, doing production and post-production work. Mary is currently working as a stage manager for Keegan Theatre for shows such as 'N', 'An Irish Carol', 'Yoga Play' and 'The Outsider'. She was also an understudy and performed for one part in 'An Irish Carol' and two parts in 'The Outsider'. This will be Mary's second time working with Solas Nua, previously assistant stage managing 'Maz and Bricks'. Mary is a proud graduate of The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts acting program and advanced program

Shanara Gabrielle

Shanara Gabrielle (Director)
From reimagined classics to world premieres, Shanara is interested in creating innovative performance experiences for audiences and transparent, anti-oppressive creative processes for artists. Shanara most recently spearheaded WORKING IN DC as the Artistic Producer, which performed on Black Lives Matter Plaza in collaboration with the national AFL-CIO. She is an Artistic Associate at Arena Stage, a proud member of SDC and has directed at: the cell nyc, Goethe Institut, BAAD NYC, Arena Stage (associate), Signature Theatre, Door Shakespeare, STC’s ACA, Solas Nua, Imagination Stage (movement), Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Coterie Theatre, Metro Theatre, The Black Rep (associate), St. Louis Rep, Great Lakes Theatre, COCA Theatre, New York Fringe, San Francisco Fringe, and more.

Danielle Gallo

Danielle Gallo (Honor)
Danielle is absolutely thrilled to join the cast of Playboy of the Western World! Previous credits include: Spy Academy, S.P.I.E.S. II and Paper Dreams at Imagination Stage; The Merry Wives of Windsor and Love's Labor's Lost at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre; Romeo and Juliet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Co.; The Revolutionists and The Whole Shebang at Prologue Theatre; She Kills Monsters and Waiting for Iggy Pop at Rorschach Theatre; Enron at 4615 Theatre Co.; and many more. Danielle also works as a Pre-K teacher at Bancroft Elementary School, is an international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor, and has worked for gender and disability rights organizations across the world. Danielle has written award-winning plays, won Helen Hayes Awards for assistant directing work with Imagination Stage, and is an Equity Membership Candidate.

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Jonathan Holmes (Associate director)
Jonathan is an actor, voiceover artist, teacher and director with over 30 years of professional experience. He has appeared on stages across Canada, UK, Australia and the US including work with Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman, Kneehigh Theatre, Richmond Gateway, Vancouver Arts Club, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Arena Stage. He has over 50 Film and Television credits to his name including Rogue, Descendants, Almost Human, The 4400, Stargate: Atlantis and Peter Greenaway’s Nightwatching. Recent highlights include creating the role of The Childchewer in the Steven Spielberg helmed The BFG and three seasons as William Barry on the Netflix series Anne with an E.  His voice can be found on numerous animated series and can currently be heard as Runaan on the Emmy award winning Netflix series The Dragon Prince.

James J Johnson

James J. Johnson (J. J.) (Malomo)
is excited to make his Solas Nua debut. He last appeared in the
Olney Theatre Center’s world premiere of The Joy That Carries You. Other credits include: Theater J/Folger Theatre: Nathan the Wise; Theater J: Our Suburb; Arena Stage: Ruined; 1 st Stage: Hero’s Welcome, The Royale; Mosaic Theatre Co.: Les Deux Noirs; Ford’s Theatre: The Member of the Wedding; Woolly Mammoth Theatre: The Unmentionables; African-Continuum Theatre Co.: Kingdom, Wedding Dance; Imagination Stage: Zomo the Rabbit; Kennedy Center TYA: Homer P. Figg. EDUCATION: BFA in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University. James is also a founding member of Galvanize, a support network for local theatre artists of color.
IG: @jamesjjohnson1
TikTok: @mediocredope

Jamil Joseph

Jamil Joseph (Christopher)
Jamil is making his debut not only at Solas Nua but in the DC theatre scene. Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, from young he knew he had a passion for acting. He attended East Stroudsburg University where he majored in Theatre with a concentration in TV and Film. He was in shows such as Spike Heels and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Post undergrad, theatre led him to Boston where he worked with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company doing shows such as Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. In 2019 he moved to the DMV where he performed Antigone, directed by Danielle Drakes at Catholic University. This is his first show since then and he's excited to be working with such a wonderful cast. He wants to thank everyone in management and is grateful to be chosen for this opportunity and wants to thank his fiancee and son for their everlasting love and support

James Lacey

James Carlos Lacey (Sean)
REGIONAL: STC: Merchant of Venice (Understudy), INTERNATIONAL: Tower Theatre: Hamlet (London), Theatro Technis: Antony & Cleopatra (London), Bloomsbury Festival: Orphée (London), Festival of Ancient Messene: The Bacchae (Greece). FILM: Butcher, The Queue. OTHER: Founding Member of The Undertow Collective. PERSONAL: he/him/his. ABOUT: James is a British-Paraguyan Artist and Singer-Songwriter who has worked globally performing classical and devised theatre. TRAINING: The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA): MA, The Academy for Classical Acting at the STC: MFA  

Rachel Lawhead

Rachel Lawhead (Susan)
Rachel is a New York based nonbinary actor who is overjoyed to be back home in DC for this production! They graduated from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program in 2019, found themself dungeoning lots of dragons during the pandemic, and moved to NYC in the summer of 2021. Some of their more favorite recent roles have been Louise in Always, Patsy Cline and Trinculo in The Tempest. Much love to their partner, roommates, and precious kitty Rita.

Jessica Lefkow

Jessica Lefkow (Widow Quin)
Jessica was last seen at Solas Nua in In the Middle of the Fields. Other local credits; Olney Theater Center, 1st Stage, Keegan Theatre, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Solas Nua, We Happy Few DC, Brave Spirits Theatre Company, dog&ponydc. Regional/touring credits; American Shakespeare Center, Gulfshore Playhouse. Nominee, 2021 Helen Hayes Awards, Best Supporting Actress (Helen), We Happy Few’s Lover’s Vows. Lecturing Professor, Montgomery County Community College. BFA (Acting), The Catholic University of America; MFA, Classical Acting, GWU/STC. Equity Member Candidate; Member, AFTRA; Mom to DJE.

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Dean Leong (Master electrician)
Dean Leong is a freelance Lighting Designer from the Washington DC area. Recent design credits include: Lighting: Our Town, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Wolves with CUA Drama Dept. A Tuna Christmas, BURST, and Ghost Light with Parlor Room Theater Co. The Infinite Tales, Museum 2040, and Tempered: A Caberet with 4615 Theatre Co. Chemical Exile: Synthesis, Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really with Rorschach Theater Co. Scenic: The Wolves with CUA Drama Dept. Museum 2040 with 4615 Theater Co. He would like to thank his wife and daughter for their love and support. To view more of his work you can visit:

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Sulmane Maigadi (cultural consultant)
Sulmane is a graduate of both Gordon-Conwell and ECWA Theological Seminary with a background in theatre, scriptwriting, and television. He is a teacher and pastor currently serving at the Church of the Resurrection. His writing and acting credits include The Unveiled Truth (TV Series 2013), E.V.E - Audi Alteram Partem (TV Series 2018– ), Last Stand (Theatre Premiere Production - 2014), Innate (Movie: Post-Production), and MLK: A Tunnel of Hope (Theatre, Ongoing).

Matthew Pauli

Matthew Pauli (Philly)
Matthew is an actor, clown, and puppeteer. In the DC area, he has performed with Faction of founders of Clown Cabaret, a performance laboratory for developing clown work. He toured for six seasons with Big Apple Circus and is a Red Nose Doc for Healthy Humor Inc, performing clown rounds at Johns Hopkins Hospital and National Children’s Medical Center. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, as well as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College, and has an MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University.

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Danielle Preston (Costume designer)
Danielle Preston (she/her) is a costume designer based in Washington DC. Previous Solas Nua production includes The Frederick Douglass Project. Recent selected DC credits include: The Till Trilogy, Private, and Dear Mapel at Mosaic Theater Company, and The Joy That Carries You at Olney Theatre. Regional credits include Schoolgirls; Or The African Mean Girls Play and The Realness at the Hangar Theatre, Quamino’s Map at Chicago Opera Theater, and B.R.O.K.E.N. Code B.I.R.D. Switching at Berkshire Theatre Group. Off-Broadway credits include Where Words Once Were at the Lincoln Center. Preston holds an MFA in Costume Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.

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Sarah Tundermann (Lighting Designer)
Sarah is excited to be working with Solas Nua for the first time. Recent regional lighting design credits include Dance Nation, The Royale (in co-production with 1st Stage), Tiger Style, and Annie (Olney Theatre Center); Mlima's Tale (1st Stage); Mr. Popper's Penguins, Thumbelina, Zomo, Charlotte's Web (Imagination Stage); Super Cello, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus (Kennedy Center); Berta Berta, Cry it Out, Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains (Everyman Theatre); She the People (Second City at Woolly Mammoth); Twilight Los Angeles: 1992, Things That Are Round (REP Stage). EDUCATION: MFA in lighting design from the University of Maryland. Sarah resides in Baltimore with her dog Jinx Monsoon and two kittens Billie & Olive

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Regina Vitale (Stage Manager)
Regina is overjoyed to be joining Solas Nua for the first time. She is a freelance SM in the DC area. Most recently stage managing Little Women at NextStop. She would like to thank her whole family for their support of her theater career even through the pandemic, particularly Heather and Ted. And her partner Nicole because 'With her beside me, anything is possible.'

Sierra Young

Sierra Young (Fight and Intimacy Director; she/her)
Sierra is a multi-hyphenate artist in the DC/Baltimore area. She is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, as well as a member of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society. She is the Resident Fight & Intimacy Director for Mosaic Theater Company. Recent DC credits include Fantastagirl and How I Became A Pirate (Adventure Theatre MTC); Red Velvet (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Birds of North America, Mary’s Seacole, The Till Trilogy (Mosaic); Ain't No Mo' (Woolly Mammoth). Recent regional credits: Aida, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, and Snapshots (ArtsCentric); The Color Purple (Cape Fear Regional Theatre); Fences (Nat’l Players);The Joy That Carries You and AD16 (Olney Theatre Center); World Builders (Prologue Theatre). Training: UMBC

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