Presented by The Pond Theatre Company, the world premiere of The Naturalists marks Jaki McCarrick’s New York debut.
The Pond is an ambitious, women-led theater company dedicated to bringing some of the most exciting new theatrical voices from the U.K. and Ireland to the U.S., many for the first time. The Pond’s 2016 sold-out debut, a revival of Mike Leigh’s ABIGAIL’S PARTY, was declared a New York Times critic’s pick.
Directed by The Pond co-founders Colleen Clinton and Lily Dorment, THE NATURALISTS features four of New York’s most admired Irish and Irish-American actors: John Keating (6 shows w/ TFANA, 18 w/ Irish Rep), Tim Ruddy (Irish Rep’s The Seafarer & The Weir) Sarah Street (The Pond’s Abigail’s Party & Muswell Hill), and Michael Mellamphy (Irish Rep’s The Seafarer).
Set in a rural hamlet in County Monaghan, Ireland, THE NATURALISTS follows the story of brothers Francis and Billy Sloane, whose isolated existence is shaken by the arrival of a mysterious young woman. It is a story of secrets, atonement, and how we can be healed by the land, by each other and, maybe, by the perfect stranger.
Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. She won the 2010 Papatango New Writing Prize for her play LEOPOLDVILLE, and her play BELFAST GIRLS, developed at the National Theatre London, was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. BELFAST GIRLS premiered in Chicago in May 2015 to much critical acclaim (Windy City Times Critics’ Pick) and opened this spring in Vancouver.
The West Coast Premiere of the play opens on November 17th in Portland Oregon. Jaki has also recently been selected for the Irish Film Board’s Talent Development Initiative to adapt BELFAST GIRLS for the screen.
In 2015, her plays BELFAST GIRLS, LEOPOLDVILLE and THE MUSHROOM PICKERS (staged at the Southwark Playhouse in 2006 to several 4 Star reviews), were published by Samuel French. Her play BOHEMIANS was read at RADA on January 18th 2017, starring Imogen Stubbs and Rob Jarvis, directed by Tilly Vosburgh. In 2016 Jaki was shortlisted for the St. John’s College, Cambridge’s Harper-Wood Studentship for her short play TUSSY about Eleanor Marx, a piece she is currently developing.
Jaki also won the 2010 Wasafiri prize for short fiction and followed this with the publication of her debut story collection, The Scattering, published by Seren Books. The book was shortlisted for the 2014 Edge Hill Prize. Winner of the inaugural John Lennon Poetry Competition, she has also had numerous poems published in literary journals including Ambit, Poetry Ireland Review, Irish Pages, Blackbox Manifold etc.
Recently longlisted for the inaugural Irish Fiction Laureate, Jaki is currently editing her first novel and a second collection of short stories called Night of the Frogs. Screenplay projects also include adaptations of her short story Hellebores and her first play, THE MUSHROOM PICKERS.
She has held numerous residencies including Writer-in-Residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris & also regularly writes arts pieces for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), The Irish Examiner and other publications.