The American Premiere of


by CN Smith

Directed by Joy Nesbitt

Feb 16-Mar 10, 2024

Thu – Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm

White fragility simmers in the wake of Black success. 

Three white Irish men meet at their childhood athletic field to catch up, drink, and discuss the recent Olympic success of their former Black friend, Amir. Their vulnerabilities, jealousies, and perceived failures seethe below the surface as they recall their teenage years. In a parallel reality, the young men wrestle with flashes of the past when they enact scenes from Amir’s diary. 

Recommended for ages 15 and up.

Season sponsor: Ronni Lacroute

Scenic Design Supported by Charlotte Rubin

Dialect Coaching Supported by Jessie Jonas

Spear is supported in part by a grant from the Irish government's
Emigrant Support Programme


CN Smith and Joy Nesbitt are two of the most exciting artists working in Ireland today. This collaboration is not to be missed!

Artwork by Karl Hanover
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Talkback with Director Joy Nesbitt: Saturday, February 17th

ASL interpreted performance: Thursday, February 29th 7:30 PM

Content Warning: Descriptions of racism, sexual assault. Use of slurs against homoesexuality, mental disability, and Pakistani nationality. 

About the Playwright

CN Smith is a playwright and director from County Louth, Ireland. He was a recipient of The Lir Academy’s Patricia Leggett Playwriting Scholarship for 2020, allowing him to complete his MFA. His play Spear was a Dublin Fringe Festival commission for 2022, and was presented at Smock Alley. An excerpt of his play Corktown was presented as part of the 2023 Trans-Atlantic Commissions readings in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Spear is a play about race, mediocrity, and misunderstanding. It was born out of a recognition of (and frustration with) the prevalence of one-hander confessional plays written by non-white people about our trauma. I recognised the immediate value these plays provided both for the artists and for audiences – the stories they allowed to be shared, the visions they platformed, and the solidarity they allowed to be built. However, their prevalence raised some questions for me, chief among them being: Why do white people love them so much? And why are we so quick to put our bodies and traumas under the microscope for their entertainment? Aren’t they the ones who should be examined? I then began to think about whether there might be a way to explore the same themes present in all of that great confessional work while also attempting to answer those questions for myself. Spear was  written as an effort to thread that needle. It follows three friends as they drink in a field and read passages from their former friends’ diary.”


Ryan Edlinger
as Joe
Dylan Hankins
as Nate
Rocco Weyer
as Sean

Creative Team

Joy Nesbitt
Colin Herring
Stage Manager
Kyra Sanford
Scenic Design
Viola Horton
Costume Design
Jeb Stuart
Lighting Design
Jonathan Castillo
Sound Design
Karl Hanover
Dialect Coach

Production Photos

by Owen Carey

Spear visited the Pub!

Photos by Owen Carey

The cast of Spear presented a preview of the play at TC O’Leary’s Irish Pub as part of the Portland-wide St. Brigid’s Day celebration!