The Collegian
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Award-winning play performed by students in Modlin

The University of Richmond department of theatre and dance debuted Dancing at Lughnasa in the Alice Jepson Theatre this weekend.

The original show won the 1992 Tony Award for best play and has been performed by various theatre companies and universities across the country.

Mary McDonnell, a theatre major at Richmond who played Kate Mundy in the show, said the cast had started rehearsals before spring break.

"I try to participate in every main stage show," McDonnell said. "Though I am a theatre scholar, I am doing this show primarily because I enjoy it."

Each season, the department of theatre and dance presents a series of plays that provide opportunities for participation to both student actors and faculty directors, according to the department's website.

McDonnell said she had heard about the show last year and had decided to audition in January. She said she had been grateful for the opportunity to practice her acting skills, while simultaneously doing something she loved.

"The most difficult task for me was getting the lines down well enough to make them sound conversational," McDonnell said. "I am looking forward to immersing myself in the show for the few times we have left to perform it."

The cast comprises Richmond students in each of the eight roles within the nationally-recognized play.

McDonnell spent ample time familiarizing herself with the role of Kate Mundy, the eldest of the five sisters in Dancing at Lughnasa.

"Kate feels responsible for the family and spends most of her time taking care of them," McDonnell said. "She is the bread-winner and tries to be the moral compass, even when the sisters don't want to hear what she has to say."

Contact reporter Laura Allen at

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