Irish Philadelphia Community News

Synge Festival, a month-long celebration of the full works of J.M. Synge.


A young man walks into a rural tavern and declares that he has murdered his abusive father in self-defense. He is beloved by the locals and heralded as a hero until the truth of his past is revealed. A riotous comedy, J.M. Synge’s timely tale looks at the power of personality over facts, challenges the wisdom of popular opinion, and asks us what separates criminality from heroism.


Three of Synge’s celebrated short plays will be performed in one evening. An older husband pretends that he is dead in order to test his younger wife’s fidelity in a black comedy, “In the Shadow of the Glen.” In “The Tinker’s Wedding,” A gypsy woman tries to find respectability by convincing a local priest to marry her to her sweetheart, only to find that marriage can be an expensive and soul-compromising business. And in his finest tragedy, “Riders to the Sea,” Synge depicts a family’s hopeless and fatal struggle to make a living off the impersonal but relentlessly cruel sea.

Following each performance there will be special “Pint and a Poem” gathering in which Synge’s poetry will be recited and Irish stout will be served, and on festival weekends the company will present readings of Synge’s other plays: “The Well of Saints” and the unfinished “Deirdre of the Sorrows.”

We are proud to offer a special group rate for the Irish American Business Chamber and Network. Groups of 15 or more receive a $5 per-ticket discount at all ticket price levels.

The Synge Festival runs from September 18th to October 29th, and the full schedule is available here on our website. While you’re there, check out the schedule for our entire tenth season, which includes L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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