WMU News

WMU stages Tony Award-winning tale of an Irish family

March 12, 2004

KALAMAZOO--University Theatre presents the winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, "Dancing at Lughnasa," for seven performances, March 18-27, in the Gilmore Theatre Complex at Western Michigan University.

Curtain times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, March 18-20 and 25-27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21. An opening night reception sponsored by TCBY will take place after the March 18 performance, and a post-show discussion with the director and cast is scheduled for March 25.

Winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, "Dancing at Lughnasa" is the story of the Mundy sisters in rural Ireland during the summer of 1936. Told through the memories of Michael, the son of one of the five women, this enchanting tale examines ordinary lives in a culture that uniquely combines strict Catholicism and age-old paganism. From the Celtic rituals taking place in the back hills to the music brought into the house from the newly purchased radio, the element of dance underscores this language-rich play.

The world of Michael's non-traditional family is turned upside-down when two visitors arrive: the aging Uncle Jack, returning from 25 years as a missionary serving lepers in Uganda; and Gerry, the Welsh father of young Michael. Uncle Jack brings back his fondness of African beliefs and rituals, while Gerry returns with only more empty promises for his son and the Mundy sisters. The collision between these men and the sisters changes Michael's childhood forever.

"Dancing at Lughnasa" is directed by Assistant Professor Mark Liermann. The cast includes WMU seniors Stacie Hadgikosti, Mark Jaynes, Miaken Kristola, Allen VanHouzen, and Andrea Wilmoth; and juniors Katie Duthler, George Frye, and Sarah Scanlon. The designers include seniors Joseph Shoup (sound) and Rebecca Smith (lights); junior Jane Polesnak (costumes); and sophomore Carl Hamilton (scenery).

Seating is by general admission. Tickets for "Dancing At Lughnasa" may be purchased by calling or visiting the University Theatre Ticket Office between noon and 5 p.m., weekdays, (269) 387-6222. Admission for the general public costs $16, $12 for WMU faculty and staff and $7 for students. The box offices at Miller Auditorium and the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo also sell tickets to the University Theatre productions.

The 2003-04 season at the University Theatre is made possible through a partnership with TIAA-CREF.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400