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Friel's 'Dancing at Lughnasa' lands close to home at City Theater

Delaware Public Media | By Karl Lengel

Published March 27, 2024 at 6:36 PM EDT

City Theater Company rounds out its 30th Anniversary season with an Irish favorite.

The City Theater Company’s 2024 finale is Brian Friel’s Dancing At Lughnasa.

Friel is known as the ‘Irish Chekhov’. His “memory” plays - particularly of a small town not far from Donegal - focus on the social and political lives of everyday Irish.

Dedicated to the playwright’s mother and aunts, this play revolves around the lives - and loves - of five sisters in a small Donegal town during the Lughnasa summer harvest festival.

Director Mary Katherine Kelley says it is “a dream of a play”, not just because the narration is reflective, but also for personal reasons.

“I also am a big Friel fan and my father’s family is all from Donegal, where the play is set and Friel was from.”

Artistic Director Kerry Kristine McElrone says Friel was a natural choice for the City Theater’s season’s wrap - and for her.

“I picked Dancing at Lughnasa because I think it is the most well-known to people, but particularly because it is about five women, and it is the story of five women. I am the only woman artistic director of the theatre company in its thirty years.”

The City Theater company’s production of Dancing at Lughnasa runs April 19-27 at The Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington.

All performances are at 8pm, except for a 2pm matinee April 21st.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts



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