‘A Man of No Importance’ is socially relevant


Rebecca Holt photo

The cast of the play “A Man of No Importance” rehearsing one of the scenes.

Naomi Greenstein, Staff writer

The Theatre Program of Mercyhurst University is back at it again in full swing as they prepare for their spring musical, a production of “A Man of No Importance.”
Based on a film of the same name, this musical centers on the character Alfie Byrne, a bus driver in 1964 Dublin who runs a community theatre, the St. Imelda’s Players, out of the church social hall.
Many of the plays he performs with his theatre group are those by another Irish artist, the playwright Oscar Wilde.
Byrne feels a strong affinity with Wilde, due in part to his own struggle with his sexuality.
Byrne’s personal struggle brings the musical to a head when he attempts to put on an amateur production of Wilde’s “Salomé,” only to encounter the forces of bigotry and shame over a love “that dare not speak its name.”
Director Brett D. Johnson, Ph.D., dubs “A Man of No Importance” “a beautiful little chamber musical about love, acceptance and the transformative power of art.
“It’s one of those rare gems in the canon of American musical theatre …. It’s a poignant, funny little show.”
Johnson also declares the reason for choosing this specific production.
“The Mercyhurst Theatre Program is committed to producing works that are socially relevant…and not just to entertain, but also to enlighten and educate.
“At this moment of divisiveness in our country, this is a show about people from different backgrounds coming together and elevating their lives through art, and that’s the experience I hope the students have, too.”
Performances are Feb. 23 to 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 25 to 26, at 2 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre on the Mercyhurst campus.
Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens/students and $5 for youth and Mercyhurst students with ID.
All performances are general admission, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to curtain.
Come out to support your fellow students and artists by reserving your tickets today at miac.mercyhurst.edu or calling 814-824-3000.
Tickets will also be on sale at the theatre beginning one hour before curtain, but with cash only.
For more information, visit miac.mercyhurst.edu.
This production contains adult situations and strong language. It is recommended for ages 13 and above.