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Are You a Daughter of Molly Maguire?

Back when people were freaking out about the Irish influx into the United States, a group of Celtic coal miners were hung for the alleged murders of Pennsylvania mine bosses. The incident sparked national excitement about a shadowy group of agitators known as the Molly Maguires. Ever since those dark days of the late 1870s, entertainers such as Sean Connery and Richard Harris have made much of the sad story. Phil Coulter even penned a tune that went: “Make way for the Molly Maguires/They’re drinkers, they’re liars but they’re men…” But you’re not going to hear that ditty in Deborah “Lou” Randall’s Are You a Daughter of Molly Maguire? The artistic director of the Venus Theatre—whose mission is “setting flight to the voices of women”—has herself penned two plays about Molly women in Pennsylvania’s anthracite region. Her latest features two actresses taking on six different characters—and at least as many social issues. The backstory is tricky to glean from the play’s narrative, which sets flight to the voices of dead Molly women through two contemporary squabbling sisters camping out in the Pennsylvania mining country. Unfortunately, the earnest social history mixed with outré mystical feminism won’t make this a must-see for too many, though the angelic Moira Glennon (pictured with Randall) does turn in a valiant performance as the more righteous sister. Catch the production before it tours to the Anthracite Heritage Museum. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Thursday, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, to Sunday June 24, at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3804 34th St., Mount Rainer. $15. (301) 699-1819. (Neda Ulaby)