You may not be at all aware of it, but actual walls still separate neighborhoods in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They’re called The Peace Walls but they imply an unhealed divide in the aftermath of  “The Troubles,” aka “The War.” They testify to the strife between Protestant Unionists, and Catholic Nationalists and have stood for 45 years, as if something could break out again. Sure, people on either edge can cross the lines, but that doesn’t mean that those who survived those times are now at peace.

Thus when two men from opposite sides of the issues, men who fought in those streets, meet to try to heal their wounds, there’s no telling how much fight till seethes within them. Is there any room for forgiveness? This is the essence of Owen McCafferty’s Quietly,  a three-man, one act play offered by Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company.

“It is difficult to imagine a piece of theater more perfectly suited to our jittery, antagonistic American moment” wrote Laura Collins-Hughes of The New York Times  last July. She called it a “rage-filled, wounded, mournful play” and said “when a society loses control (it’s) a reminder that terrorism and demonization of the other have always been with us.”  

Quietly  premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 2012 when it was hailed by The Irish Times  as “The best new play of the year,” and since has won numerous awards including 2013’s Writers’ Guild Award and Fringe First Award.    

McCafferty’s Scenes from the Big Picture  from 2003 earned him the John Whiting Award, the Evening Standard’s  Charles Wintour Award for New Playwriting and the Meyer-Whitworth Award,  the first time any playwright had won all three awards in one year. He’s written many other plays.

This is part of Brigit Saint Brigit’s Irish Festival with collateral events. Irish songs and legends are celebrated March 13th with singer Jill Anderson and Irish storyteller Barry Murphy.  The next day, internationally renowned Irish poet Desmond Egan reads his work. And there’s a first-person history as two Irish immigrants recollect growing up in Belfast during “The Troubles,” March 21 & 23.  

There will always be those who, as Ireland’s Dylan Thomas said, “do not go gentle into that good night.”

Quiet runs Mar.10-26, First Central Congregational Church, 421 South 36th Street. Fri. & Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Tickets $20-$25.

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