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Thursday, Jun 27, 2019

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Pictured are cast members from the Tantrum Theater’s production of “Dancing at Lughnasa.”

Pictured are cast members from the Tantrum Theater’s production of “Dancing at Lughnasa.”

Photographer: Daniel King

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Tantrum Theater to present ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

Final production of the 2016 season celebrates a masterwork by a giant of Irish theater


Ohio University’s Tantrum Theater will present Brian Friel’s Irish masterpiece “Dancing at Lughnasa,” opening at 8 p.m. July 29 at the Abbey Theater in Dublin, Ohio.

Can love set you free? Journey to the heart of Ireland, 1936, to experience the pulsating energy of a Celtic harvest festival, and remember for a moment a simple life filled with laughter and hope. In one of Ireland’s most beloved and powerful plays, the five indomitable Mundy sisters dance through memories of family, tenderness and heartbreak—as the world tumbles toward revolution. 

When playwright Brian Friel was asked why he was attracted to late 19th-centurty Russian authors, he mused: “Maybe because the characters in the plays behave as if their old certainties were as sustaining as ever ― even though they know in their hearts that their society is in melt-down and the future has neither a welcome nor even an accommodation for them. Maybe a bit like people of my own generation in Ireland today. Or maybe…because they have no expectations whatever from love but still invest everything in it.”

Originally presented at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, in 1990, the play transferred to London’s National Theatre in 1991 where it won the Olivier Award for Best Play and then to Broadway where is won the Tony for Best Play.

This production of Brian Friel’s Irish masterpiece is directed by award-winning Seattle-based Director Sheila Daniels and features a professional cast, including central Ohio-based actor Jonathan Putnam and Athens-based actors Katherine Scholl and Brian Evans as well as actors from Seattle, Louisville, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Lexington, Kentucky.

Tickets are available for “Dancing at Lughnasa” online at http://tantrumtheater.org/ and by calling the Dublin Community Recreation Center at (614) 410-4550. All seats are general admission. Shows will be performed in the Abbey Theater at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road in Dublin.

There will be two Pay-What-You-Will previews on July 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. as well as a preview July 28 at 8 p.m. A reception will be held in the Abbey lobby following the July 29 8 p.m. opening night performance. The remainder of the performance schedule is as follows: Saturday, July 30, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 31, at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 6, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 7, at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 and 8 p.m.

Each ticket purchased for performances during the Dublin Irish Festival August 5-7 can also be redeemed at the Dublin Community Recreation Center Desk for a free admission ticket to the Dublin Irish Festival. Special parking information will be given to you at the time of your ticket purchase. General information about parking during the festival can be found on the Dublin Irish Festival website

Irish scholar Heather Edwards will give a free preshow talk about Irish Theater in the Ohio University Dublin Den tent located at the Dublin Irish Festival from 6 to 7 p.m. prior to the Saturday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m. performance in the Abbey Theater. More information about Tantrum Theater at the Dublin Irish Festival including a map of the grounds can be found here

This article was provided by Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts.