Thursday, March 3, 2016

Newton Nomadic Theater Performs "Molly Sweeney"

On Sunday, March 13th at 5:30pm, Vineyard Haven Public Library is pleased to present a free performance by the Newton Nomadic Theater, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Newton Nomadic Theater, a new theater company dedicated to producing simply staged, high quality theater in interesting and unconventional theater spaces, will perform Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney. From one of Ireland’s best modern playwrights, this striking piece of dramatic writing is a daring piece of theater. Three points of view about a poignant drama are related by three characters addressing the audience directly. Their stories interweave on stage, threading in and around each others’ lives, until the unexpected and touching conclusion to this striking tale. This wonderful play by Brian Friel is the tale of a blind woman, her sighted husband and her doctor, inspired by an essay by Oliver Sacks. Newton Nomadic Theater vet Billy Meleady is back, both directing and acting, joined on stage by Nomadic newcomers Stephen Cooper and Noni Lewis in the title role. The event is free and refreshments will be served.

Billy Meleady (actor, director) has been a regular performer on Boston stages for 25 years. He was a regular performer with The Sugan Theatre Co. for over a decade. He received both Elliot Norton and IRNE awards for his work with Sugan and also for his work with The New Repertory Theatre and Boston Playwrights Theatre. He was nominated for a 2011 Elliot Norton award and an IRNE award for his performance in TirNa Theatre Co's Trad a 2013 LA Ovation award for "featured actor" in The Belle of Belfast (world premiere) and received the 2014 Best Actor award at Boston's 48 film festival. He recently performed with The Revels in Sander's Theatre and off Broadway in the Irish Repertory Theatre Co's  east coast premiere of The Belle Of Belfast.  He recently appeared in Black Mass (Warner Bros. released Sept. 2015). Newton Nomadic audience will remember Billy for his performances in Faith Healer and in Turn of the Screw, in which he both directed and played four different characters. He is delighted to be back with the "Nomads" and to perform in another play by the late great Brian Friel.

Noni Lewis is a Welsh actress and voiceover artist currently based in Boston. Having spent many years as a stage and screen performer, in more recent years has enjoyed voice acting from her home studio. Fresh from performing in The Christmas Revels at Sanders Theatre, Harvard, Noni is delighted to join Billy Meleady on stage once again. Previous credits include Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Aardman Animations/Dreamworks), poetry readings, plays and audiobooks for BBC Radio Four, Macbeth and Twelfth Night (Orange Tree Theatre, London), Odysseus’s Journey (Bristol Old Vic). Noni has also recently appeared as Tessa in the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm and can be heard on radio and television advertisements across Wales, on websites, phone messages, apps, computer games, audio trails, in museums and even lifts through her work at

Stephen Cooper returns to Brian Friel after appearing as Hugh in Translations (Bad Habit Productions) at Boston’s Calderwood Pavilion in 2014 – a production he was forced to leave after he suffered a serious injury.  After his recovery in 2015, Stephen appeared in Michael Frayn’s Alphabetical Order (Mugford Street Players) and in Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes (Exiled Theatre). Other recent roles include the haunted widower in Conor McPherson’s Shining City and Picasso in Jeffrey Hatcher’s A Picasso (both with Salem Theatre Company). Stephen is a member of SAG-AFTRA; his radio drama work has been broadcast on NPR and can be heard at He formerly lived in Los Angeles, where he studied acting for seven years under the late Susan Peretz.

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