WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 16, 2012 – Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1934, “The Cripple of Inishmaan” is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. West Liberty University Hilltop Players will present the play to the public, Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 in Kelly Theatre.


Curtain is at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1, and 3 p.m., Dec 2.


The play begins as word arrives on Inishmaan that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighboring island of Inishmore to film the movie, “The Man of Aran.” The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.


“This is a very interesting production in several ways,” said director Michael Aulick.  “McDonagh has a way to keep the plot moving while constantly shifting the audiences expectations.  The last 5 minutes of the play, he moves from happy-ending to sad-ending and then back several times.  The cast and crew have LOVED working on this show and we just hope our audience will enjoy Inishmaan just as much as we do.”


Aulick, director of the theatre program at WLU, is directing the play and playing the role of town gossip, Johnnypateenmike.  This is his first experience directing while onstage every night.


The WLU production is entered into the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

“We want to showcase the work of our students so most of the design has been handled by the WLU students, under the watchful eye of Meta Lasch.  Lasch is the technical director/designer at WLU who teaches a variety of courses including costuming, makeup, lighting, drafting and stagecraft.



“The Cripple of Inishmaan” opened on Dec. 12, 1996 at Royal National Theatre in London. In 1998, it opened at Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York City and later in Los Angeles. In Dec. 2008, it was produced in New York City by the Atlantic Theater Company in conjunction with

The Druid Theatre Company of Galway, Ireland.


Martin McDonagh said of his play, “I hope someday they’ll be regarded as true Irish stories; I don’t think they are at this minute. It will take a long time for the baggage of me being a Londoner to be in the past.”


WLU students in the cast include: Mack Kale, Cripple Billy Claven; Cassie Hackbart, Helen McCormick; David Dudzik, Bartley McCormick; Kacie Craig, Aunt Eileen; Olivia Ullman-Wright, Aunt Kate; Derek Park, Dr. McSharry; Samantha Alkire, Mammy O’Dougall; Jaccob Trifonoff, Babbybobby Bennett.


Others include: Meaghan Macey, stage manager, Miranda Pellicano and Maggie Dillon, assistant stage managers; Nathan Dunn, light design; Spencer Thomas, set design; Carlito Gilchrist, sound operator; Alex Glotfelty, props; Michael Blatzer, props master; and Jed Shook, lightboard operator.


To make a reservation, please call 304-336-8277. To purchase discounted tickets online, visit

htpinishmaan.brownpapertickets.com.     Tickets at the door are $12.50 each.