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FAU's Department of Theatre and Dance Presents 'The Clearing'

BOCA RATON, FL (March 30, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University’s department of theatre and dance in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will present Helen Edmundson’s “The Clearing” from Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 12 in Studio One Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.   General admission tickets are $16.   FAU faculty, staff and alumni may purchase tickets for $10.   Tickets may be purchased by visiting, by calling 800-564-9539 or at the theatre two hours prior to the performance.  

“The Clearing” addresses a 17th-century forerunner of “ethnic cleansing.” It is set in 1652 Ireland, when Oliver Cromwell and the British Parliament instigated a policy of eradicating the Irish from Ireland. The play centers on Robert Preston, an English landowner’s son, who is married to an Irish woman, Madeleine. She has just given birth to a son when Cromwell’s men intensify their efforts to clear the Irish from Ireland by shipping them to Barbados, banishing them to Connaught, a desolate area of Ireland, or killing them for insubordination. It is a hellish period in Ireland’s history that bears witness to some of man’s most ruthless acts.

Robert loves Madeleine passionately, but he realizes that he loves his home more. While Madeleine cannot give up her strong conviction to her people, Robert realizes he cannot give up his allegiance to England.  It is a tragically moving story that still resonates in Ireland today.

The play premiered in 1993 at the Bushe Theatre in London. It was first produced in the United States in 1996 in Chicago and subsequently at Florida Stage and New York’s Blue Light Theatre Company.   The FAU production is directed by Des Gallant and is presented by the department of theatre and dance in the School of the Arts, part of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.   For more information, call 561-297-3810.

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