Siobhan McKenna, Irish actress, will star in the first play to be presented at the Metropolitan Boston Arts Center (MeBAC). Jose Quintero will direct the play, which will open the tent theatre on Soldiers Field Road early in July.
The signing of the two artists is the first action taken by the Cambridge Drama Festival since the Metropolitan District Commission awarded it the right to operate at MeBAC this season. The award was protested by the Group 20 summer theatre of Wellesley, which demanded an equal share in the new theatre.
Along with Broadway producer Roger L. Stevens, Quintero and Miss McKenna will take part in ceremonies at the theatre site today. The three will then hold a press conference, at which time the name of the CDF's first production will be announced.
Miss McKenna made a triumphant American debut in the title role of Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, which opened the CDF summer season at Sanders Theatre in 1956. She returned to the Boston area last year in the leading role of The Rope Dancers.
It is understood that Miss McKenna rejected opportunities to perform at other summer festivals and that she chose Boston out of affection for the site of her earlier successes.
Quintero is best known for his direction of Long Day's Journey into Night, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Eugene O'Neill drama, which was seen in Boston in the fall of 1956 before going on to New York.