Irish Masterpiece Dancing at Lughnasa launches IU Theatre’s 2016-2017 Season

Aug 30, 2016

Bloomington, Ind –  Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance will open the 2016-2017 theatrical season with Brian Friel’s Tony-Award winning drama, Dancing at Lughnasa, in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre. Dubbed “the Irish Chekhov”, Friel’s melancholic and introspective writing is adored by theatremakers and audiences alike.

Originally produced in 1990 by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Dancing at Lughnasa transferred to London’s National Theatre before opening on Broadway, where it played for over 400 performances.

The play is set in the Irish countryside of 1936, at the childhood home of Michael Evans, played by Chris J. Handley in his M.F.A. Thesis Role. Michael’s memories bring to life his mother and four aunts, who struggle to survive on their own in a society with little use for them.

The production, directed by Dale McFadden, will also be the M.F.A. Thesis of actor Ashley Dillard, performing the role of Kate Mundy (famously portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 1992 film) and costumer designer Emmie Phelps. Rounding out the design team are Ryan Miller (Scenic Design) and Tony Stoeri (Lighting Design).

IU Theatre has the unique opportunity to draw on the experience of Nira Pullin, who will serve as choreographer and period movement coach, and visiting assistant professor Eleanor Owicki, a specialist in Northern Irish theatre, who will dramaturg the production.

Dancing at Lughnasa is about our relationship with the past, the need for memories, and the desire to relive them.

WHATDancing at Lughnasa, presented by IU Theatre

WHEN: Sep. 23 – Oct. 1, 2016

WHERE: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for senior citizens. 812.855.1103 or For group discounts contact Abby Miller (