A Triumphant Return with “Dancing at Lughnasa”

Upper School students and drama department faculty were thrilled to welcome in-person audiences back to Orthwein Theater for Dancing at Lughnasa, a 1990 play by Brian Friel set in 1930s Northern Ireland.

Dancing at Lughnasa is a memory play told from the point of view of the adult version of Michael Evans, the narrator. He recounts the summer he spent living in a cottage with his five single and minimally-employed aunts when he was seven years old. The play depicts the late summer days when love and gainful employment seem possible, and the family welcomes home a frail older brother returning from life as a missionary in Africa. However, as the summer ends, the family foresees the sadness and economic scarcity ahead.

The cast and crew dove into the production with excitement to embody the story and characters and feel the energetic exchange with a live theater audience.

Peter Grace ’23 portrayed Michael’s father Gerry Evans in the play. When asked about his experience with the production, he shared, “To quote Gerry, ‘I thought I should try my hand at something worthy for a change.'”

Ella Brauer ’24, who stepped into the role of Christina Mundy without much experience in theater, remarked on the process, “Coming into this show, I’d never really done anything theater-related before. I made some new friendships, I learned so much about being on stage and also a whole lot about time management and balancing multiple activities with school! It was an experience that I was lucky enough to have, and looking back on it, I’m really glad that I was able to participate in such an in-depth and intricate story with such cool people!”

Check out the full production program and cast and crew listing here.

Thank you, Upper School students, for wowing us with this magnificent production!