03/17/2020 - 03/22/2020

by Tom McEnery

Presented by Kilnasheen Productions/George Marcus | Buck Hill Productions | 3Below Theaters

Produced by Guggenheim Entertainment and Buck Hill Productions

Directed by John McCluggage
Set Design by Jerald Enos
Costume Design by Sherrol Simard
Lighting Design by John Bernard
Sound Design by Jon Leyden
Production Stage Managed by Jamie D. Mann*

with special thanks to Ed Storm for his work on the World Premiere production in Dublin, Ireland

U.S. Premiere | Limited Engagement

Kilnasheen Productions, in partnership with Guggenheim Entertainment and Buck Hill Productions, announces a new play penned by former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery. The original comedy, A Statue For Ballybunion, makes its US premiere in San Jose after a successful world premiere in Dublin, Ireland.

A Statue For Ballybunion is based on the true story of a core group of Ballybunion residents who hatch a cunning plan to unveil the world’s first statue to the leader of the free world – then U.S. president, William Jefferson Clinton.  However, well-publicized events in the Oval Office with a certain intern put his visit to “The Kingdom of Kerry” in jeopardy. As if that were not enough, something unexpected has happened to the statue.  How will this affect events in Ballybunion as it awaits immortality on the world stage?  As Bill Clinton himself said, “You just have to keep swinging and know it will all even out!”


We're counting down the days until this U.S. Premiere event! Do you have your tickets yet?

Playwright Tom McEnery (left) with John McCluggage, Director

Q&A with Director John McCluggage

Q: We are going to assume you’ve got some Scot in you, based on your name. Any Irish in your lineage, making you extra qualified to direct this Irish comedy?

A: I just got my results from and I'm 66% from Munster, Ireland (of which County Kerry and Ballybunion are a part) and the rest from Scotland and Wales, so I guess I might be overqualified! 

Q: What are the challenges of staging a show set in a pub? Too many requests by the actors for extra time at the local pubs for “research”?

A: What about the requests by the Director? Actually, because we often finish our work late at night, and not yet ready to sleep, a pub is a great place to gather and wind down (with or without a drink) before turning in. So the pub is a familiar environment.

Q: Many patrons will know you from your days at San Jose Rep. Do you have a favorite memory of your Rep days?

A: Timothy Near really mentored me. So grateful. Directed over 30 productions and worked with many fabulous theater artists. Started Red Ladder Theater Company and worked with thousands of participants. But the absolute best was meeting Alexandra Urbanowski. 

  • Tickets

    Regular: $55

    Discounts available for students, seniors, educators, and military: $50

    Youth: $45  


    See the Show for Free!

    3Below welcomes volunteer Ushers who, with minimal commitment and obligation, can attend most productions without paying for admission. Visit the Volunteering link below for more information.

  • About

    Directed by former San Jose Rep Associate Artistic Director John McCluggage and produced in partnership with Guggenheim Entertainment, the production will open on St. Patrick’s Day for a limited run. Tom has created what is described as a “true Irish comedy”, a comedic piece that resonates not just with the local Irish and its diaspora, but shines a spotlight on a time in the recent past that has a gentle truth, demonstrates a steely determination by a local group, and is presented with a large dollop of humor, unique to the Irish. This is a story that is as endearing as it is engaging.

  • History

    “A Statue for Ballybunion” is based on my short story and tells a tale that should have deep meaning today. Although it is set in 1998, it speaks to a disillusionment that has always been present in the Irish, those that left their home and those that stayed. It was not a time of Skype and Facetime, and we know the speed of the Irish postal service: those exiles were leaving forever. It is no idle jibe that their going away parties were called “American wakes.” My grandparents emigrated from Ireland at the dawn of the 20th century, much later sparking my interest in the experience of such immigrants that flocked to our Valley, then and now. When I first went to Ireland myself in the ’60s and began to immerse myself in her history with my MA thesis on Irish nationalism, I discovered an equal interest in those that stayed behind and why.

    This story concerns a man and his home. It is a love story about that home and a parallel one with his daughter. This town on the edge of the Atlantic is fighting for its self-respect and very survival. This struggle mirrors the one Ireland faced then and in some ways always has. Here we enter a strange but oddly familiar place where things are not always as they seem. As in all such stories, there is a real humor in the lives of many of the characters and incidents as well as a deep sadness. Into this mix arrives President Bill Clinton and the  momentous events swirling around the Peace Process attempting to end the savage “Troubles” – he is  also staring at his own impending impeachment. Almost each and every major event is just as it actually happened in that fateful year, on that very day and all the astonishing events leading up to it. This play tells the story of how, through a visit and statue, a president gets an unexpected bow and this town works toward its salvation.

    I hope you enjoy their story,

    Tom McEnery



Jackson Davis*
Angie Higgins
Jeff Kramer
Andre Leben
Jim O'Connor
Benjamin Pither*
George Psarras*
James Reber
Lynne Soffer*
*Member, Actors' Equity Association

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