The World Premiere
On the southern coast of Ireland there is a town with three names. It started out as Cove, was changed to Queenstown around the turn of the 20th century in honor of a visit by Queen Victoria, and more recently was changed back to its original name…only this time, in accordance with the resurgence of the Irish language, is now spelled “Cobh”.
The town’s international claim to fame is that it was the last port of call for the Titanic before its ill-fated voyage across the Atlantic. But in Ireland it is known for another type of trip across the Atlantic. Cobh was the departure point for the great Irish Immigrations of the 19th century, during which, over a 50 year period, the population of Ireland decreased from 8 million to 3 million. Escaping famine and starvation, as the potato blight swept the island, millions fled the green hills and vales of their homeland in search of a better life in America…in search of – hope.
And on that very dock in Cobh, a new musical, “Katie’s Hope” was born out of God’s inspiration and the authors’ imaginations. Joy and sorrow mixed…grief and hope mingled…redemption gained through pain…this is the story of Katie’s Hope as it follows the journey of one of those Irish families fleeing the famine – Sean and Katie McCleery and their 3 children – Shannon, Paddy, and 6 year old Molly. Along with fellow travelers they meet along the way, their journey begins in 1847 on the dock in Cobh; continues through their harrowing sea voyage aboard what were often called “coffin ships”; and follows them through the first months in their new land as they settle in New York City among the orphans and refugees trying to scrape out a living in a stark new reality. A grim story, ’tis true, and yet…and yet, the McCleerys and their friends – true to the spirit of the Irish – often look to find that deep well of hope and joy in the midst of dire circumstances…quick to pick up a whistle or a fiddle, strike up a tune, and dance a jig. This journey, though, may prove to be more than even Katie’s Irish spirit can overcome.
As a piece of historical fiction, the story of Katie’s Hope is told in true musical style – through drama, song, and dance…with a script by Tom and Denise Diffee; beautiful, inspiring music by Lorilee Brasseur; musical arrangements by Steve Richards; and choreography by Peggy O’Toole-Weber (a certified Irish Dance Instructor). It is presented by Cedar Park Church’s Catalyst Theatre Company, directed by Tom Diffee, and produced by Mark Lewis, Sue Timpe, David Potter, and Michelle Potter.
Katie’s Hope will be performed on the main stage at Cedar Park on the following dates:
|Thursday||November 20, 2014||7:30 pm|
|Friday||November 21, 2014||7:30 pm|
|Saturday||November 22, 2014||7:30 pm|
|Sunday||November 23, 2014||6:00 pm|
There will be no charge for performances although an offering will be received.