288 S Second St, San Jose, CA


3/16/2023 – 3/26/2023

Written by Tom McEnery

Presented by San Jose Playhouse at 3Below Theaters
Produced by Kilnasheen Productions/George Marcus and Guggenheim Entertainment

Directed by Jeff Bracco

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, 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; and after multiple postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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!”

Directed by Santa Clara University’s Jeff Bracco, and produced in partnership with Guggenheim Entertainment, the production will open St. Patrick’s Day  week 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.

  • Tickets

    Admission: $45 – $55

    $55 Regular

    $50 Students, seniors, educators, and military

    $45 Youth

    Group Discounts and Fundraising Opportunities available | Learn more

    There is a per-ticket box office fee charged at checkout that goes toward covering box office service provider and merchant service provider costs. Fees are waived for San Jose Playhouse Series Subscribers, a benefit of subscribing to a series in advance.

  • Showtimes

    Thursdays at 7:30pm 

    Fridays at 7:30pm

    Saturdays at 2:30pm & 7:30pm

    Sundays at 2:30

    Post-show Talk-backs: Thursday, March 16 and Thursday, March 23

  • A Note from the Playwright

    “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


Set Design by Jerald Enos
Lighting Design by Jon Gourdine
Costumer Julie Engelbrecht
Sound & Projection Design by Shannon Guggenheim
Technical Direction by Jeff Christensen
Production Stage Managed by Jamie D. Mann*


Jeff Kramer
F. James Raasch
Tom Gough
Andre Leben
Jim O’Connor
Angie Higgins
Jackson Davis*
Susan Gundunas*
James Reber
Tom McEnery
Jeff Bracco
Jerry Enos
Set Designer
Jon Gourdine
Lighting Designer
Jamie D. Mann
Production Stage Manager
Juan Richardson
Assistant Stage Manager
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association