Carmel residents in ‘Mother Ireland’

Shari Grinnell, MaryAnne Mathews, and Kate Duffy Sim. (Submitted photo)

Shari Grinnell, MaryAnne Mathews, and Kate Duffy Sim. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

DivaFest is designed to showcase the work of Indiana women playwrights.

MaryAnne Mathews, a Carmel resident, gets the opportunity to show her writing and acting skills. Mathews wrote an act of “Mother Ireland” and performs in two acts. April is the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in which Irish republicans attempted to establish an independent Ireland.

“The parts women played in these struggles have only recently come to light,” Mathews said of the three acts. “Women’s stories always seem to be lost in recounting history, and we wanted to portray the amazing bravery and heartfelt dilemmas of some of these women.”

“Mother Ireland” will be performed at the Indy Fringe Basile Theatre, 719 East St. Clair St., 9 p.m. April 1, at 6 p.m. April 3, and at 4:30 p.m. April 9. The play is part of DivaFest, which runs from April 1 through April 10.

Kate Duffy Sim, an Indianapolis resident, wrote two acts.

Duffy Sim’s daughter, Carmel resident Shari Grinnell, also is playing her daughter in the first act.

Mathews and Duffy Sim perform in the final two acts, “The Oath” and “The Choice.” Mathews wrote “The Choice” which is set in Belfast during the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1980s.

“Each act is 10 to 15 minutes,” Mathews said. “Between acts, we intersperse each traditional Irish music, much of which I’ve written different words.”

Mathews, who has performed with Carmel Community Players and Carmel Theatre Company, volunteers at Conner Prairie as a living history interpreter. Mathews wrote a play, “Mrs. President: A Visit with Mary Todd Lincoln.” Mathews, a retired teacher, portrays Lincoln’s wife at different ages.

“My son calls me the busiest retired person he knows because I’m doing a lot of things,” Mathews said.

Her husband, Garrett, is a former Evansville Courier & Press columnist who has written several books and plays.

Tickets are $12 for “Mother Ireland.” For tickets, visit


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