This past weekend, the Summer Theatre Program drew to a close as Mercyhurst University students gave a performance of the Brian Friel play, “Dancing at Lughnasa.”
“Dancing at Lughnasa” is the story of five unmarried sisters as they eke out their lives in a small village in Ireland in 1936.
The action is told through the memory of the illegitimate son of one of the sisters as he remembers the five women who raised him.
He is only seven in 1936, the year his elderly uncle returns after serving for 25 years as a missionary in Uganda, and his father, a charming Welsh drifter, strolls up the lane and sweeps his mother away in an elegant dance across the fields.
The play was performed from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30.
The student actors who participated in the program arrived back on campus two weeks early in order to have time for rehearsals.
For this performance, every cast member and backstage worker signed a professional contract and earned a stipend for their work.
The contacts gave these students the opportunity to work in a professional setting and practice their craft in front of an audience that would not regularly have access to quality live theatre.
The next production of the theatre department will be “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a wildly funny musical that will be performed in the Taylor Little Theatre from Oct. 22-25.
Narrated by a man listening to his favorite musical, the characters and story begin to come to life in his apartment as this Man in Chair shares his passion for the musical with the members of the audience.
The spring play, to be performed April 7-10, is a work by Federico Garcia Lorca called “Blood Wedding.”
This folk tragedy tells the story of a young Andalusian bride who elopes with her childhood sweetheart Leonardo on her wedding day, abandoning her husband-to-be at the altar.
Brett D. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Theatre Department at Mercyhurst, says his hopes for this season are to get more students involved in the performances and to continue producing high-caliber work, as well as get more students in the audience to see and appreciate the work being done by their classmates.
Tickets for all performances are available at the Mercyhurst box office, and many are also available online.
Be sure to attend the performances this year, and do not miss out on yet another great year of work from the Mercyhurst Theatre Department.