Michael Colgan, Gate Theatre

Michael Colgan, artistic director of the Gate Theatre of Dublin, in the streets of Charleston in 2014.


A Real-Life Interview in One Act.

CHARACTERS: A Reporter, Michael Colgan (artistic director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin), Stephen Brennan (actor).

[Afternoon. Exterior of Simons Center for the Arts. On a park bench.]

REPORTER: (To Brennan) The Gate Theatre is a favorite here at the Spoleto Festival USA. The company has come nine times to Charleston and you personally are here for your fourth time. Do you have any favorite spots in the city?

BRENNAN: We go off to places like Shem Creek. We like to go up to East Bay Street...

COLGAN: (Finishing Brennan's thought) Magnolia's...

BRENNAN: Magnolia's and Slightly North of Broad. ... There're some beautiful restaurants and great food in Charleston. So, that's one of the attractions. We're very often feted by people here who very kindly open their houses to us. So, we are always very well looked after. The Southern hospitality is quite exceptional. The South is famous for its style.

COLGAN: I think a lot of the thing is that we've created a habit. We like the Charleston Place Hotel.

BRENNAN: We like Folly Beach.

COLGAN: Yes, we like Folly Beach enormously. And we like the Dock Street Theatre.

BRENNAN: We feel like we live there. ... and of course there is also the little historical connection that the first play done at the Dock Street Theatre was by Irish author Farquhar.

COLGAN: And then I go to the Charleston Yacht Club once a year...

BRENNAN: (With a grin) And I go as his guest.

COLGAN: ...for lunch, which I always enjoy.

REPORTER: Do you think there is anything in common between Charleston and Dublin?

COLGAN: Charleston didn't have the money so they couldn't afford skyscrapers. And when Charleston did have the money, they had the good sense not to build them. I believe that architecture and the visual of the place is a huge determinant on what you do and how you do it.

BRENNAN: I don't know if it's the climate or the way they all live, but Charleston is a very well-mannered city and the people are polite.

COLGAN: The important thing with Nigel Redden and I, and why we started this relationship, is that it is of no value to go to a city and come back 25 years later. That's why habit in theater is important. The importance is for that exchange. That's why we come Charleston.

[The festival van pulls up. Colgan and Brennan exit stage right. The reporter exits stage left.]


Nick Reichert is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.