Award-winning Irish play presented at University

James X explores one child's life of abuse at Irish Industrial Schools | March 31, 2005

Irish playwright Gerard Mannix Flynn presented his one man show, James X, on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, at 8:00 p.m. in the Gallagher Student Center studio. The play was named "Best New Play of 2003" by the Irish Times ESB Irish Theatre Awards.

Written, directed and performed by Flynn, James X is set in Ireland 2002, where Flynn is about to confront church and state for injustices done to him throughout his childhood. James was turned over to the state and the Christian brothers of the industrial schools as a young boy.

A delay in the case enables him to examine the state’s confidential file on his case, uncovering in the process a dark tale of abuse, prejudice and contempt that stretches back over 45 years, and propelling him on a journey back through those events and experiences in an attempt to reclaim the truth of his childhood and adolescence.

James X affects adults, it affects children and it affects all the social services in this country. I'm not doing this for my career, my ego or for theatrical reasons; I'm doing this because it's necessary. If anybody wants to figure out how it all happened at least there will be one document out there that shows why it happened and what the character of James X did with it," Flynn says.

“It is our hope that bringing these abuses to light will begin the healing process for those have suffered at the hands of those we often trust,” says Cathy Springfield, director for performing arts. Psychologist Laef Noll with Mercy Professional Services was available after the performances to speak to those who have been abused or who may know someone who has been abused.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased by calling 513 513-745-3576 or leave a message at 513 745-3939.