Written in Irish Gaelic in 1964, ON TRIAL is set against the backdrop of the Republic of Ireland’s draconian laws that denied women bodily autonomy by outlawing abortion, contraceptives, and literature on family planning. Maura, a young woman, becomes pregnant by Kevin, a married man. She flees her abusive home, and hops from job to job in a city that affords her anonymity but not safety. She gives birth but refuses to give her child up for adoption. In a chance meeting, Kevin is shocked to learn he’s a father and denies responsibility. Maura kills herself and her daughter, disclosing to the audience: “My child is free. She’ll never be the easy fool of any man.” Ní Ghráda interweaves scenes from the story with courtroom scenes, where lawyers cross-examine the characters. The audience is not witness to Maura’s trial, but a metaphorical one where society is the defendant.
Following the performances on April 19, April 20 (8:00), and April 21 a panel of interdisciplinary scholars will respond to the show from their critical standpoint. This group includes faculty members from the fields of theatre, history, political science, literature, and linguistics - from both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. There will also be time for questions from the audience following each production.
FREE ENTRY. Ticket reservations available at play.pitt.edu/production/trial or by calling 412-624-7529
Sunday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m.