Dancing at Lughnasa

November 3rd, 2005 by Adam

Students at Plymouth State University will perform Brian Friel’s award-winning drama Dancing at Lughnasa, November 17 – 20 at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Dancing at Lughnasa was first produced at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland in 1990. After moving to Broadway, the play won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1992.

In a house just outside the small village of Ballybeg live the five Mundy sisters, barely making ends meet, their ages ranging from 26 years to 40. The two male members of the household are brother Jack, a missionary priest, repatriated from Africa by his superiors after 25 years, and Michael, the seven-year-old child of the youngest sister. Narrated by Michael as an adult, the play depicts two days in the lives of five remarkable women.

The story, set in County Donegal, Ireland during the 1936 harvest, is told through Michael’s memories of growing up with only his mother and four maiden aunts. The festival of Lughnasa, celebrating the pagan god of the harvest, brings out a side to the women Michael has never seen when they acquire their first radio and he meets his long-lost father.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Cox, director says, “Filled with wonderful humor and touching pathos, Dancing at Lughnasa’s lyrical language casts a spell and warmly invites the entire audience into the Mundy home.”

The cast includes Mimi Gindoff and Julie-Anne Whitney of Laconia, Holly McCarthy of Marstons Mills, Mass., Esther Hammond of Franklin, Mass., Melissa Lowery of Tamworth, Tyler Rich of Nelson, Dane Grigas of Pembroke, Mass. and Chris Covill of Manchester.

The production staff includes guest scenic designer Ken Canfield of Henrietta, N.Y., Angela Pitrone-Nason, costume designer, Matt Kizer lighting designer and students Jeremy Tannenbaum of Cheshire, Conn., assistant lighting designer; Nicole Giles of Boothbay, Maine, stage manager and Sarah Connelly of Exeter, R.I., assistant stage manager.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday, November 17 – 19 at 8 p.m. and matinees are Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12-10 at the Silver Center box office, (603) 535-ARTS. Box office hours are Monday – Friday, noon to 6 p.m.