The Kiss

A Few Words About The Play:

 “A cleric sits alone, contemplating his crimes”. That’s the opening cue for Michael Harding’s play, The Kiss.  The cleric is an aging Irish Catholic priest who’s left the priesthood and may very well be tried for sexual misconduct. But Harding doesn’t try the man, he lets us discover where his naïveté began and in what context it was lost. This beautifully written elegy to lost innocence, to our basic need for intimacy, to mistakes made by man, society and religion is at once comprehensible and controversial. Harding lays bare the complex circumstances of the cleric’s crime, yet neither condemns nor condones his behavior. It’s as if a window were gently, quietly raised and what we see is sweet, beautiful, compelling, startling and disturbing. By what rationale do we proceed to the consequences of our actions? Who’s responsible for that rationale: the individual, the culture, the church, or the times? Mea Culpa!

The Kiss is a solo-performance approximately 50 minutes long and requires a small table and chair for the set.

The Playwright:

 Michael Harding has worked in theatre as an actor, director and writer. Most widely known as the author of such plays as Strawboys, Una Pooka, Misogynist, Hubert Murray’s Widow, Sour Grapes, and Amazing Grace, all produced by the Abbey Theatre, and more than ten other plays for leading Irish Companies, including The Kiss, Talking Through his Hat, and Swallow.

He has directed for The Abbey Theatre, The Project Arts Centre, and Red Kettle, and most recently has worked as a performer with many distinguished theatre companies such as, The Focus, Blue Raincoat, The Abbey Theatre and Gare St. Lazare.

He was Writer in Association with The National Theatre in 1993, and Writer Fellow at Trinity College in 2001, and has received numerous awards for his theatre work, including The Stewart Parker Award, The Bank of Ireland RTE Award, and Best Male Performer at Dublin Theatre Fringe Festival.

His most recent show The Tinker’s Curse is currently touring Ireland. Reviews can be seen at www.thetinkerscurse.net

He is a member of Aosdana, and a columnist with THE IRISH TIMES.

The Performer:

 An accomplished writer, actor, director and teacher, Thomas Griffin has an MFA in playwriting and is an award winning published poet, recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry. His new play, Darling Daughter had its world premiere at n.u.f.a.n ensemble’s “Ritalin Fest” in Chicago. He has been a visiting artist for The Flynn Theatre’s Vermont Young Playwrights Festival; teaching playwriting and directing plays at the festival.

Thomas has worked professionally in theatre and film for the past 20 years and is the founder of Acting On Impulse Theatre Company. He was last seen in South Coast Repertory Theatre’s production of A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room playing three roles and in the indie film Groupies.

His directing resume is extensive and includes productions in Florida and Vermont, recently directing Seth Lepore’s award winning, nationally touring show Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee. He is also the director of an internationally touring production of The Fever by Wallace Shawn with Jerry Levy. For more information, or to leave comments, please visit www.thomasgriffinarts.com.

The Director:

 To his direction of The Kiss, Jerry Levy brings an 8-year over 200 performance international tour of Howard Zinn’s Marx in Soho. He recently added Wallace Shawn’s The Fever to his one-person show repertoire.

Jerry’s direction of ensemble productions include A Thousand Clowns, I Can’t Remember Anything, and Mr. Paradise. Jerry teaches sociology at Marlboro College and makes his home in Brattleboro, Vermont. For more information, please visit www.levyarts.com.

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