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Ivers bringing Jewish perspective to Irish play

(L-R) Arizona Theatre Company's David Ivers directs a rehearsal of 'Outside Mullingar' with actors Robynn Rodriguez (Aoife Muldoon), John Hutton (Tony Muldoon) and Larry Bull (Anthony Reilly). (Tim Fuller)

In May, the Arizona Theatre Company announced the arrival of David Ivers, the new artistic director who took over the reins from David Ira Goldstein after Goldstein’s 25-year stint leading ATC. Ivers suggested “Outside Mullingar” for the 2017/18 transition season and will make his ATC directorial debut with the play, which opens Jan. 26, with preview performances beginning Jan. 20. Written by John Patrick Shanley, who won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for “Doubt” and an Academy Award for “Moonstruck,” this Tony-nominated romantic comedy is set in the farmlands of Ireland.

Ivers’ upbringing helped shape his artistic vision and values. His father, raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in Montreal, Canada, found his way into radio and eventually the film business via public relations and marketing. His father’s time as an on-air radio personality prompted him to change the family name from Itzkovitch to Ivers.  Ivers’ parents met at a TV studio in Bermuda and eventually settled in California.

Ivers says his father’s deep connection to Judaism and his mother’s progressive sense offered him and his brother the opportunity to be exposed to all sorts of beliefs, and instilled in them the importance of family and legacy. Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar,” Ivers says, fittingly showcases these themes.

For tickets, visit arizonatheatre.org or call 622-2823.

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