Interview: Charlotte Moore, director of Molly Sweeney

Simone Kirby as Molly Sweeney

Charlotte Moore is no stranger to Long Wharf Theatre. Under the leadership of legendary artistic director Arvin Brown, Moore appeared as a performer in several productions including The Autumn Garden in the mid 1970s. “That was a terrific time. Going up on the train, learning your lines. Getting caught in the parking lot in the snow. You developed a bond with a lot of wonderful people. Being an actor in a first rate production is no small thing,” she recently recalled.

Moore makes a grand return to Long Wharf Theatre, this time directing the Irish Rep production of Molly Sweeney, by Irish master playwright Brian Friel, which takes place Sept. 14 through Oct. 16.

Molly Sweeney tells the story of a young woman, blind since birth, who receives the opportunity to see again. This medical miracle is fraught with consequences, rendering a complex and interesting tale. “Any Brian Friel play is appealing to a director. His writing is top notch and intriguing because of his beautifully layered language,” Moore said, who directed the production previously in New York City at the Irish Rep. “Molly Sweeney’s advantages are her inner fire and beauty. What she didn’t see she saw in her mind’s eye.”

Molly Sweeney deals with one of the Friel’s great themes: the perception of loneliness, a theme coursing through his greatest works, including Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Dancing at Lughnasa. “It is the theme going into the unknown,” Moore said. “I don’t know where it comes from. I think it is perhaps in Mr. Friel’s head and heart, a feeling of unknowable mystery and finding himself in a world that doesn’t help. The world is not generous. The search is always there – I love it. He rends my heart.”

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