Award-winning “Dancing at Lughnasa” takes center stage at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts’ Wein Black Box Experimental Theatre, Oct. 29 – Nov. 2.
Those of us with siblings get it and for others, it’s obvious to see. We love each other and hate each other; yet, we cannot live without this unique relationship that bond siblings to one another. So what happens when you have five Mundy sisters living amongst each other?
It results in the award-winning play “Dancing at Lughnasa,” which portrays the relationship between five sisters living in a small Irish village, Balleybeg, during the summer of 1936. Presented by Theatre Fairfield, university students and staff will adopt the Mundy sisters’ personas and bring forth the unique relationship they share.
Senior Maggie Greene, who plays Agnes Mundy, feels the play is “so much about the human experience” and “what do you do” when put in these types of situations. Greene explained how the play fuses elements of comedy and joy to counterbalance the drama, which is what she believes makes any work interesting.
“The play explores the depth of relationships and family relationships,” said Greene. Through Michael’s (Franco Luzzi ’15) point of view, “the characters learn how to find joy out of the mystery of their lives.”
Agnes is one of the quiet sisters who enjoys knitting, said Greene. When paired with her sister Rose, played by Jessica Lizotte ’18, who has special needs, there is a unique relationship within itself.
Shortly after the return of their older brother and a visit from a friend of the past, the sisters’ everyday lives takes a turn for the worst. As things crumble, the sisters remain true to their family.
The cast has been enduring a rigorous schedule to perfect each and every aspect of the performance. Greene explained how in addition to four-hour rehearsals six nights a week, each cast member is involved in the tech and production of the play.
“We all wear multiple hats,” said Greene. Many of the actors also work props and lights on top of remembering their lines.
However, when the sisters break out into an Irish step dance mid-scene, “words are no longer necessary,” said Greene. “We lose it, dance and break free.”
For this portion of the play, the production is using a wireless radio for the first time with streaming music from Dublin. Also, the sisters have been trained in Irish step dancing and refer to their on-staff researcher to make each aspect, from their mannerisms and clothing to their Irish accents, authentic.
According to the “Dancing in Lughnasa” press release, Theatre Fairfield is in an active collaboration with the university’s Irish Studies Program and large Gaelic-American population in Fairfield County, said Dr. Martha S. LoMonaco, professor of theatre and co-producer and resident director of the program.
“It is an especially wonderful choice for performers eager to challenge themselves by playing characters who speak in Irish dialect and also sing and step dance. The show will be a veritable feast for the eyes and ears,” added LoMonaco.
New York City guest artists Tom Schwans (directing) and Jaclyn Meloni (scenic designer) will help bring the production to life at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts’ Wein Black Box Experimental Theatre from Oct. 29 – Nov. 2.
Students are invited to come in Halloween costumes for free admission; all student tickets are $5, $6 for staff and $12 general admission, available through the Quick Center Box Office or online atwww.quickcenter.com.
Look out for Theatre Fairfield’s “Director’s Cut,” an extravaganza of one-act plays directed and designed by advanced theatre students, opening at the PepsiCo Theatre on Dec. 4.