ESU Theatre Presents Friel’s 'Dancing at Lughnasa'

February 19, 2013

Emporia State University Theatre presents its 2013 Spring Production, "Dancing at Lughnasa."  Winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Broadway Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, it was also chosen by Time magazine as one of the 10 best plays for 1991, saying it is "The most elegant and rueful memory play since The Glass Menagerie." 

Written by the renowned Irish playwright Brian Friel, "Dancing at Lughnasa" is among his most popular works.  The play will be presented under the direction of Dr. Jim Ryan beginning Wednesday evening February 27.

"Dancing at Lughnasa" is the story of five unmarried sisters living in a small village in Ireland.  Set in 1936, the play is portrayed through the memories of seven-year-old Michael (Noah Mefford, Senior, Burlington) who is the illegitimate son of Chris (Trinity Standridge, Senior, Olathe) and Gerry (Andrew Walker, Senior, Wichita).

Now grown, Michael tells the story of his mother and his four aunts: Kate (Cara Lohkamp, Senior, Wichita), Maggie (Annie Rosenbrook, Senior, Merriam), Agnes (Erin Mullane, Junior, Gardner), and Rose (Miranda S. Nation, Freshman, Winfield).  

Michael recalls the return of his elderly uncle, Father Jack (Brandon Jensen, Junior, Salina), from a 25-year mission trip in a Ugandan leper colony. We meet the characters during the festival of Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-nuh-suh), a celebration of a pagan god of the harvest.

Widely regarded as Friel’s masterpiece, this haunting play will be presented in an atmospheric world created by scenic designer Nancy Pontius. Ron Fowlkes (Lighting Designer) and Susan Mai (Costume Designer) help to bring the world of the play to life.

The production staff includes Doug Dion (Technical Director/Sound) and Amanda Dura (Costume Shop Manager). Lexey Jost (Junior, Hutchinson) will serve as the Production Stage Manager. Kylie Geiman (Sophomore, Louisburg) is the assistant stage manager. Mark Warner (Junior, Salina) serves as the Master Carpenter.    

"Dancing at Lughnasa" will open Wednesday, February 27th, and run through Saturday, March 2nd.  All performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall.  Tickets are available from the ESU Box office on the main level of the Memorial Union or by calling 620-341-6378.

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