Dancing at Lughnasa

women dancing
Fall, 2018
Written By: Brian Friel
Directed By: Ellen Hemphill

The pagan hilltop rituals of Lughnasa, the ancient Gaelic harvest festival, were abandoned after the Christianization of Ireland.  Or were they?  In Brian Friel’s play, dancing and sacrifice continue to feature in the lives of five sisters, one ex-priest, and one illegitimate child, as they struggle to stay afloat emotionally and financially in 1930s Ireland.  Music and movement carry this seemingly simple story, revealing the inner lives, the passions and obsessions of the sisters. The sisters’ riotous dancing offers hints of the old (and perhaps ongoing) celebration of life juxtaposed against the strict Catholic tradition of the household and the town itself.

Please join director Ellen Hemphill (Duke Theater Studies professor and artistic director of Archipelago Theater), guest composer Allison Leyton-Brown and the cast of Duke undergraduates for this microcosmic exploration of the human struggle to maintain joy against all odds.  

November 8-11 and 15-17 at 8p, November 12 & 18 at 2p

Tickets $15 general, $10 student, For tickets, visit https://tickets.duke.edu/online/article/lughnasa18


Ahnna Beruk - Kate

Theo Holt - Michael/Narrator

Jacob Allen - Gerry

Bryant Lewis  - Jack

Tara Maier - Maggie

Samantha Steger - Chris

Samantha Streit - Rose

Anna Waters - Agnes