Join Michael Evans (Michael Perlmutter) as he shares with us the story of one particularly memorable summer of his childhood, a season of spiritual abundance and material drought, a season where old gods are toppled, old wars finished, and new beginnings sown. For every beginning is someone else's ending, and memory is what seals the two.
Michael takes us back to late summer, 1936, the season of the Celtic god of the harvest, Lugh. The place is the tiny village of Ballybeg in County Donegal in Ireland. The five spinster Mundy sisters cope with the drudgery and backbreaking hopelessness of poverty and loss. Each has her own means of escape: Kate (SUzanne Tobin) hides behind a mask of cold propriety and strict Catholic guilt, and obsesses over the health and well-being of their brother, Jack (Cecil Sutton), a missionary priest returned from the jungles of Uganda with a touch of malaria and a little more than a touch of the pagan; Maggie (Theresa Secor) builds a wall of riddles, jokes, and songs that hides a rich and thoughtful inner life; shy Agnes (Vivien Latham) and sweet Rose (Tracey L. Williams), who has the mind of a child, construct a sisterhood within a sisterhood, with tragic results; and Chris (Mo-Town Bozarth) yearns for a permanent reconciliation with her dreaming, drifting lover Gerry (Aaron Gardner), who is the father of her out of wedlock child, Michael.
Over the course of this summer, the sisters will face down madness, heartbreak, romance, repression, poverty, and resentment, dancing as fast as they can across a kitchen, across a garden, across some shared space of memory. They will dance for one last time across Michael's heart as he seeks answers to questions barely half-conjured. And only we will be there to hear their footfalls.
Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (directed by Brian Robert Harris) opens May 15th and runs until June 7th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2, no performance on May 17th. $18 general admission, $15 for students, seniors, and Art Center members. For reservations, call 805-640-8797 or go to www.ojaiact.org.