The Night Alive opens at Dobama

Two shadowy figures enter a garbage-strewn apartment in Dublin, Ireland—a young woman covered in blood and the older man who has just rescued her from a beating by her boyfriend. 

These are the opening moments of "The Night Alive" by Conor McPherson, which is having its regional premiere at Dobama Theatre, Jan. 20 through Feb. 12. 

During the course of the play, the audience will question who rescued whom and from what, as "The Night Alive" explores the tentative human connections that are forged when four battered and destitute individuals form a makeshift family.

Winner of the 2013–14 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, "The Night Alive" was called “explosive and transcendent” by The New York Times.

Dublin-born McPherson describes the work as “a very religious play . . . almost a grown-up Nativity play. I see it in those very simple terms, with all the motifs about giving shelter to someone who needs shelter and featuring three wise men, none of them very wise here."

Director Leighann Delorenzo said, “The challenge of this play is in capturing the enormity of seemingly ordinary moments of connection. But those moments can get us as close as we are ever going to get to understanding why we exist.”

McPherson, who came to prominence writing plays about hard-drinking Irishmen with pessimistic worldviews, admits that his more recent work, including "The Night Alive," has become more optimistic.

"The Night Alive" is a drama about forgiveness and redemption that combines realistic elements with those of the spiritual and supernatural. This production features Joel Hammer, Anjanette Hall, Robert Hawkes, Val Kozlenko and David Peacock.

A preview performance will be held on Jan. 19. Preview tickets are $10, general admission. For more information and to purchase tickets for this and all of this season’s productions, go to or call the box office at 216-932-3396. Dobama Theatre is located at 2340 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

Julie Friedman

Jonathan Wilhelm is the associate managing director of Dobama Theatre.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:26 AM, 01.03.2017