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Ohio Northern University to present ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

Sep 3, 2013

Ohio Northern University's Freed Center for the Performing Arts will present “Dancing at Lughnasa” from Thursday, Sept. 19, to Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. In addition, there will be two matinee performances: Saturday, Sept. 21, and Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.

“Dancing at Lughnasa” by Brian Friel is the extraordinary Irish drama that won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1992. Set in 1930s rural Ireland, narrator Michael recalls his childhood, his unwed mother and the four maiden aunts who helped to raise him. The story focuses on these five brave women and their spirited efforts to celebrate life in the face of poverty and the repressive cultural and religious forces of the day.

Ireland’s best-known living playwright, Friel is often regarded as the most significant Irish playwright since that country’s literary renaissance at the turn of the century. In a career spanning six decades, Friel has written more than 30 plays that have been produced around the world, including his first major success, “Philadelphia Here I Come” (1964), “Faith Healer” (1979), and “Translations” (1980). “Dancing at Lughnasa” premiered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1990, moved to London in 1991 (where it won the Olivier Award for Best Play), and then moved on to Broadway, winning the Tony Award for Best Play.

The cast includes Michael Burke, a senior theatre major from North Canton, Ohio; Gena Loe, senior musical theatre from Allen, Texas; Sarah Novak, a senior musical theatre major from Floyd Knobs, Ind.; Jeremy Martinez, junior theatre major from Palmview, Texas; Caroline Page, a junior musical theatre major from Birmingham, Ala.; Sarah Keune, a sophomore musical theatre major from Perrysburg, Ohio; Charles Levine, a sophomore musical theatre major from San Jose, Calif.; and Sara Ohm, a sophomore musical theatre major from Albany, Ohio.

Joan Robbins, dramaturge and lecturer at ONU, is directing the production and Brian Phillips, technical director of the ONU Freed Center, is overseeing the scenic design. Filling out the design team are student costume designer Evan LaChance, a junior theatre arts major/musical theatre major from Dayton, Ohio and student lighting designer Jacob Novak, a senior theatre arts major from Floyd Knobs, Ind.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and non-ONU students, $5 for children, and $5 for ONU faculty, staff and students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at

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