Shamus O’Malley, who will be played by Scott Stockwell in the 2nd Act Players’ upcoming production of The Institute, coming of age during the Vietnam War, is what’s known at the school as a legacy. His family of proud Irish Catholics has been sending young men to the school almost since it’s founding in 1847.
For them, the school is the first step to working their way into the American establishment and rising above the stigma that Irish immigrants carried with them. Indeed, Shamus’ ancestors served on the school’s board in the late 1800s when it voted to become a military school to prove the patriotism of Irish-Catholics after the tumultuous Civil War years that saw draft riots in New York City, where the school is located.
Shamus is the youngest of four brothers who have attended The Institute, so he begins freshman year outwardly cocky but inwardly petrified that he may not live up to the school’s standards and flunk out.
As his time at The Institute progresses, however, his fear of not succeeding is replaced by his feelings about the Vietnam War and particularly about serving in the armed forces in that war.
All men his age faced mandatory military service in the 1970s, when our play takes place, so foreign military involvement such as Vietnam was very real and very concerning to anyone approaching their 18th birthday and the draft.
Come and see how Shamus reacts to the war, and how he grows and maintains his lifelong friendship with his classmates, Frankie, Danny and Patrick.
This is a very special play about a very special place, buy your tickets today and see why. Tickets for The Institute, with performances weekends from Oct. 21 through Nov. 13 are available by simply clicking this link.