Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Information on DSC's Fall Production

Dancing at Lughnasa
October 2 - 4, 7 - 11 2008
DSC's Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center
Doors open: 7:00 PM
Show begins: 7:30 PM

Ticket prices:
Adults: $12
Seniors and students: $10
With DSC student ID: $1

For additional ticket information, call: (435) 652-7800

Plot Summary
Biography of Brian Friel

Cast list:
Kate Mundy - Whitney Morgan Cox
Maggie Mundy - Rebecca Wright
Agnes Mundy - Lindsay Harding
Rose Mundy - Hannah Davenport (Oct. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10)
Rose Mundy - Meleah Ridd (Oct. 3, 5, 7, 9, 11)
Chris Mundy - Lindsay Cordell
Jack Mundy - Spencer Potter
Gerry Evans - Scott Pederson
Michael Evans - Jarom Brown

Dancing at Lughnasa - Plot Summary

Dancing at Lughnasa is an award-winning play by Irish playwright, Brian Friel, which explores the themes of identity, family unity and, above all, how our lives are shaped by the past.

This extraordinary play is the story of the five unmarried Mundy sisters, eking out their lives in a small Irish village in 1936. It is August, the time of the Festival of Lughnasa, a traditional harvest celebration which contains much drunkenness and dancing. However, while the community around them participates in these festivities, the Mundys remain isolated. Their existence is spare, interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio -- their only connection to notions of romance and hope.

The action of the play is told through the memory Michael Evans, Chrissie Mundy's illegitimate son, as he remembers the five women who raised him: his mother and her four older sisters. He is only seven in 1936, the year his elderly uncle Jack, a priest, returns after serving for 25 years as a missionary in a Ugandan leper colony. For the young boy, two other disturbances occur that summer. First, the family acquires their first radio, which, through its music, transforms them from correct Catholic women to shrieking, stomping banshees in their own kitchen. Second, Michael meets his father for the first time -- Gerry Evans, a charming Welsh drifter who strolls up the lane and sweeps his mother away in an elegant dance across the fields. From these small events spring the cracks that destroy the foundation of the family forever.

Widely regarded as Friel's masterpiece, this haunting play is a tribute to the spirit and valor of the past. You certainly will laugh and you certainly will cry in the poignant Irish tale.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brian Friel

Brian Friel was born in Omagh County Tyrone, Ireland, the son of a primary school teacher and a postmistress. He was educated at St. Columb's College in Derry, and the seminary at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth. He proceeded to receive his teacher's training at St. Mary's Training College in Belfast. In 1954, he married Anne Morrison, with whom he has five daughters and one son. He worked for ten years in the Derry primary and intermediate education systems (as a mathematics teacher), until taking leave in 1960 to pursue a career as a writer.

He began writing short stories for The New Yorker in 1959, and subsequently published two collections. From 1958 - 1964, Friel struggled with obtaining recognition as a playwright. His earliest plays were either marginally successful, or complete failures. Shortly after his return from a short stint as "observer" at Tyrone Guthrie's theater in Minneapolis from April through July 1963, Friel wrote Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), the play that was to make him immediately famous in Dublin, London, and New York. From that point on, he had little trouble with distinguishing himself from his peers.

He was appointed to the Irish Senate in 1987 and served through 1989. In 1989, BBC Radio launched a "Brian Friel Season," a six-play series of his work, the first living playwright to be so honored. In 1999, Friel's 70th birthday was celebrated in Dublin with the Friel Festival, during which ten of his plays were staged or presented as dramatic readings throughout Dublin. In conjunction with the festival were a conference, National Library exhibition, film screenings, outreach programs, pre-show talks, and the launching of a special issue of The Irish University Review devoted to the playwright. That year, he also received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Times. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the (British) Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.

A list of his works is as follows:

A Sort of Freedom
To This Hard House
A Doubtful Paradise
The Enemy Within
The Blind Mice
Philadelphia, Here I Come!
The Founder Members
Three Fathers, Three Sons
The Loves of Cass McGuire
Lovers: Winners and Losers
Crystal and Fox
The Mundy Scheme
The Gentle Island
The Freedom of the City
Farewell to Ardstraw
The Next Parish
Living Quarters
Faith Healer
Aristocrats (Best Play, Evening Standard; Best Foreign Play, New York Drama Critic's Circle)
Three Sisters (Anton Chekhov translation)
American Welcome
The Communication Cord
Three Sons (Ivan Tugenev adaptation)
Making History
Dancing at Lughnasa (Best Play, Olivier Award; Best Foreign Play, New York Drama Critic's Circle; Best Play, Tony Award)
The London Vertigo
A Month in the Country
Wonderful Tennessee
Molly Sweeney (Best Foreign Play, New York Drama Critic's Circle)
Give Me Your Answer, Do!
Uncle Vanya (Anton Chekhov adaptation)
The Yalta Game (Anton Chekhov adaptation)
The Bear (Anton Chekhov adaptation)
The Home Place
Hedda Gabler (Henrik Ibsen adaptation)