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World Premiere of Donal O'Kelly's The Memory Stick

by San Jose Stage Company
Cultures collide when Bridget, a young Chicagoan, meets a Lakota Sioux and a fellow American from New Jersey on an army base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But it isn't long before they discover they have more in common than expected as secrets are revealed that ultimately turns one of them into a whistleblower suspect. Mystical Native American and Irish history blends magic, politics and realism in this suspenseful examination of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Contact: Clinton Williams / cwilliams [at]


International Co-Production with Dublin City Arts Office

The Memory Stick

By Donal O’Kelly

Directed by Tony Kelly

April 5 – 30, 2017

Opening Night: Saturday April 8, 2017

San Jose, CA (March 2017)- San Jose Stage Company, in collaboration with Dublin City Arts Office, present the World Premiere of acclaimed Irish playwright Donal O’Kelly’s The Memory Stick as the fourth production of its culturally diverse 34th season.


What makes a soldier rebel against his own army? Vivid storytelling and personal mythology have dangerous real-world consequences in this philosophical thriller.

Two American soldiers build a Native American sweat lodge at the back of an army base in today’s Afghanistan. It's a safe space in the field of battle, a place for imagination and peace, until histories and secrets are revealed that confuse sacrifice and guilt, heroism and politics, and expose one (or both) of the soldiers as potential traitors.

The Memory Stick examines uncertain memories of uprisings in Dublin and Wounded Knee; decades of heritage and resistance echo today in a powerful, lyrical drama about the cost of standing up against all odds. About the Playwright:

Donal O’Kelly is an award-winning Irish playwright and actor. He has twice been awarded an Irish Arts Council literature bursary, and in 1999 was awarded the Irish American Cultural Institute Butler Literary Award. He was a founder and director of Calypso Productions, and an associate director of the peace and justice organisation Afri. In 2007 he was elected to Aosdana, an Irish affiliation honouring artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland.

His much-travelled solo plays include the award-winning Catalpa (Edinburgh Fringe First, London Time Out Critics’ Choice, Best Event Melbourne International Festival), Bat The Father Rabbit The Son (Best Writer and Best Actor nominations Irish Theatre Awards), and Jimmy Joyced! (Best Actor nomination Irish Theatre Awards)

About the Director:

Tony Kelly returns to San Jose Stage Company after directing the Regional Premiere of The Night Alive. Beginning his work with The Memory Stick at the Dublin Theatre Festival, developing and directing the staged reading. He has directed multiple productions for San Jose Stage Company including most recently; The Addams Family, Reefer Madness, David Mamet's Race. In 2009, he directed the New York premiere of Colman Domingo's A Boy and His Soul at the Vineyard Theatre, where it won the 2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show in New York City and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Broadway/Off-Broadway production. Founder of Thick Description in San Francisco, he has directed 43 productions over 21 years, including numerous World Premieres; Domingo's A Boy and His Soul, Solis' El Otro and Santos & Santos, Mayer's Joe Louis Blues, Yussef el Guindi's Back of the Throat, and David Conte's operas America Tropical and Firebird Motel.

Cast Includes:

Lyndsy Kail*, John R. Lewis*, Joseph Valdez*

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

Creative Staff:

Tony Kelly Director

Michael Palumbo Scenic/Lighting Design

Abra Berman Costume Design

Steve Schoenbeck Sound Design

Cirby Hatano Stage Manager*



World Premiere

International Co-Production with Dublin City Arts Office

By Donal O’Kelly

Directed by Tony Kelly


Previews: April 5 @ 7:30 pm / April 6 @ 7:30 pm/ April 7 @ 8:00 pm

Opening: April 8 @ 8:00 pm

Run Dates: April 5 - April 30

Wednesday & Thursday @ 7:30 pm

Friday & Saturday @ 8:00 pm

Sunday @ 2:00 pm

WHERE: 490 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

TICKETS: For tickets ($30-$65) or more information, the public may contact San Jose Stage Company box office at
408-283-7142, or
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