Dancing at Lughnasa

Made possible in part by:
John & Mollie Byrnes

June 8 – July 8

Dancing at Lughnasa

By Brian Friel  |  Directed by Benny Sato Ambush  |  Featuring Lindsay Crouse

This eagerly anticipated production of Brian Friel’s masterpiece brings together award-winning director, Benny Sato Ambush, and Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse. Olivier and Tony Award winning Dancing at Lughnasa, is one of the greatest and most loved Irish plays of recent times.

Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival, Dancing at Lughnasa, chronicles the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away. The story is told by the sisters’ nephew, Michael, who recalls the summer spent with his aunts when he was seven years old. A radio brings 1930s dance and traditional Irish folk music into the home at rather random moments and then, equally randomly, ceases to play. As August gives way to September, Michael recounts his time in Donegal, where his aunts raised him in their crumbling, rural home and where once, they danced. A wild, raucous dance. The dream-wild dance of their memories. A dance to the exciting, fleeting melody of the past and a dance against the harsh, progressive beat of the present.

Join the Mundy sisters as they surrender to movement – Dancing at Lughnasa runs June 8 through July 8th at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.



Bryn Austin (Agnes / Dialect Coach) is delighted join Gloucester Stage Company for this production of one of her favorite plays.  In New England, favorite roles include Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone(The Lyric Stage Company of Boston), Dotty in Noises Off  (The Palace Theater, NH) and Isabella Bird/Nell in Top Girls(Apron Theater, VT).  Bryn has also served as a dialect coach with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Zeitgeist Stage Company, New England Youth Theater, and area colleges and schools.  She lives in southern Vermont, and teaches at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Lindsay Crouse* (Kate) is an award-winning veteran of stage and screen. In the New York theater she spent seven years with the Circle Repertory Company, winning critics’ praise for her portrayal of Ophelia in Hamlet and Viola in Twelfth Night, and garnering an Obie Award for David Mamet’s Reunion. On Broadway she won a Theater World Award for her performance as Ruth in Pinter’s The Homecoming. Featured on numerous television dramas, Lindsay has guest starred over the years on shows such as Hill Street Blues, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Touched by an Angel, LA Law, NYPD Blue, ER, Frasier, Alias, CSI, and Law & Order SVU. She played three different characters on Law & Order, and spent a season on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the infamous Maggie Walsh. She was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Performer in the Young People’s Special, “Mother and Daughter,” and a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, “The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets.” For the last decade Lindsay has played a wide range of characters at the Gloucester Stage. She joined the cast of the riotous trilogy, The Norman Conquests, by Alan Ayckbourn, sharing with them Boston’s IRNE award for Best Ensemble, and she received an IRNE nomination for her performance as Lettice in Peter Schaffer’s madcap comedy, Lettice and Lovage. On the dramatic side she played the doctor in the searing duet, Going to St. Ives, received raves for her portrayal of Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, and won the Independent Critic’s Best Actress award for her performance as Daisy in Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy. Some of Lindsay’s best known films include All The President’s Men, House of Games, The Verdict, The Insider, Mr. Brooks, Slapshot, Prince of the City, Daniel, and Places in the Heart, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Lindsay wishes to acknowledge the remarkable life and work of Brian Friel, who recently passed from this earth. All hail to the great land of Ireland, its legacy of poetry and music, and to the strength and courage of its extraordinary people.

Cassie Gilling (Chris) is a New York City-based actress. A proud Massachusetts native, Cassie is thrilled to be making her Gloucester Stage Company debut!Recent credits include: LG(The PIT), Grim(Dixon Place), Peloponnesus(Cut Out Theatre), and Family Dinner(Brunch Theatre). She holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s School of Theatre. Big thanks to her family, given and chosen.

Ed Hoopman* (Michael) is excited to be working with Gloucester Stage. He has recently been seen locally in Old Moneyfor Commonwealth Shakespeare, Ideationat New Rep Theatre, and as King Arthur in Camelot at Lyric Stage. Other regional credits: Finish Line(Boston Theater Co./Boch Center); King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew(Comm Shakes); Peter and the Starcatcher, City of Angels, Dear Elizabeth, The Importance of Being Earnest, andGroucho Marx in Animal Crackers(Lyric Stage); Mister Roberts andIndulgences(New Rep); A Civil War Christmas (Huntington Theatre Company);Dog Paddle (Bridge Rep); and Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse). NYC: Interior: Panic (NY Fringe Festival) and World’s Fastest Hamletboth with Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre; Jester’s Dead (The Outfit); Foreign Wars (Random Access Theater). Mr. Hoopman is also an accomplished voiceover actor whose work can be heard both locally and nationally.

Jennie Israel* (Maggie) Jennie is delighted to return to Gloucester Stage where past credits includeTable Manners and Living Together. Jennie is a founding member of The Actors’ Shakespeare Project where roles include Margaret and 8 other roles in Richard III, Queen Isabella in Edward II, Emilia in Othello, Queen Margaret in Henry VI, part ii, Jacques in As You Like it, the title role in Medea, The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi,HelenainAMidsummerNight’sDream,Constance in King John, Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well,Gonerilin King Lear, Calpurnia/Trebonius/Pindarus in Julius Caesar, Elizabeth in Richard III. Other local credits includeBoston Marriage, Tartuffe, and Dollhouse at New Repertory Theater; Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Huntington Theatre; Living in Exile, Comedy of Errors, and The Heidi Chronicles at the Vineyard Playhouse; Molly Maguire at the Sugan Theatre; Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Phoebe in As You Like It for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Undine’s Valediction, Summer, The Scarlet Letter, and Macbeth with Shakespeare & Company. Regional acting credits include Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Lincoln Center Theatre, Theatre Building Chicago, The Greenwich Street Theatre, Ohio Theatre Soho, Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, and Chautauqua Theatre Festival. Film and television credits include Rudy for TriStarPictures,Guiding Light, and Coming to Litchfield. Jennie holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama.

Chris Kandra (Gerry) is thrilled to make his Gloucester Stage debut. Chris is a recent graduate of Salem State University with a BFA in Theatre Arts. Before Dancing at Lughnasa, Chris was on tour with Speak About It, an organization/show dedicated to educating against and eliminating sexual assault. He has also just wrapped up a separate tour with Classic Repertory Company, New Repertory Theatre’s flagship educational outreach tour, performing To Kill A Mockingbird (Atticus Finch) and Othello (Cassio). Chris wants to thank friends, family, faculty and the whole team for such a fantastic experience. Enjoy the show!

Samantha Richert* (Rose) is a Boston-based actor, educator and fight director.  She most recently appeared in Ripe Frenzy with New Rep as part of their National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, Hold These Truths with Lyric Stage Company also directed by Benny Sato Ambush, and Elemeno Pea at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre where she received an IRNE nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work.  She has also acted with Huntington Theatre Company, Central Square Theater, Actor’s Shakespeare Project, Greater Boston Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Group and is heavily involved with exploring new works in various workshops and companies.  She teaches part-time for the Northeastern University Theatre Department, and provides youth education and fight direction for various schools and theatres in and around Boston, her most recent being True West with The Hub Theatre Company and Two Jews Walk Into A War with New Rep. www.samantharichert.com

Paddy Swanson (Father Jack) began his career in London as an actor at the Arts Theatre in the West End. In 1969 following a European tour of Woyzeck with the Plexus Troupe he moved to New York and received his world theater education as a resident actor at La MaMa E.T.C. His numerous directing projects include opera, ensemble, music -theater and circus. He was a founding stage director of Circus Flora and is currently Artistic Director of Revels. Paddy taught acting and improvisation at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (L.A.M.D.A.), the London Drama Centre, and New York University. He served as artistic director of the Castle Hill Festival in Ipswich, Mass., directing and co-producing opera and theater works, including the premiere of Julie Taymor’s Liberty’s Taken and Peter Sellars’ production of Cosi fan Tutte. Other directing credits include Tristan and Iseult with the Boston Camerata at the Spoleto USA festival; Shirley Valentine, Happy Days, The Caretaker, Talking Heads and Fighting Over Beverly. His Actor’s Shakespeare Project production of King Lear with Alvin Epstein was nominated for three 2006 Elliot Norton awards and transferred off-Broadway. For A.S.P. he subsequently directed The Tempest and The Coveted Crown (Henry IV parts one and two). For Revels, Paddy has directed The Mysteries by Tony Harrison, co-produced by Revels and Shakespeare & Company, and Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde. He writes and directs all Cambridge Revels scripts and serves as consultant to the nine other Revels production companies performing in the U.S.A. As an actor Paddy’s last performance at Gloucester Stage was in Fighting over Beverley in 2011 a play which he previously directed for the theater in 1991.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
ºMember of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC)
†Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE

Creative Team

Writer – Brian Friel
Director – Benny Sato Ambushº
Assistant Director – Christopher Noran
Assistant Director – Scott Caron
Scenic Design – Janie Howland†
Lighting Design – Karen Perlow†
Costume Design – Miranda Giurleo
Props Design – Emily Hartig
Sound Design – Arshan Gailus†
Stage Manager – Becca Freifeld*
Asst. Stage Manager (Rehearsals) – Elliot McNeilly
Asst. Stage Manager – Tara Wykes
Production Manager – Joe Short
Asst. Production Manager – Claire Morse
Technical Director – Mark Vagenas
Choreographer – Scott Caron
Choreographer – Harper Grace Mills
Carpenter – Luke Miller
Scenic Charge – Katherine Keaton
Master Electrician – PJ Strachman
Lighting Crew – Brendan Marr
Irish Cultural Consultant – Rita O’Shea Chaplin
Dialect Coach – Bryn Austin
Casting Associate – Stephen Pick
Co-Dramaturg – Kerri Killeen
Co-Dramaturg – Niccoló Walsh

Production Bios: (alphabetical order)

Scott Caron (Asst. Director, Choreography, Apprentice) is a director, actor and educator. Originally from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, he is now based out of New York City. Scott is a co-founder of The Regatta Players, a company he administrated from its 2010 inception until making his directorial debut with their 2017 productions, First Date and Evita. Acting credits include: The Imbible (Off-Broadway at New World Stages), Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar (Fiddlehead Theatre Company), A Christmas Carol (The Hanover Theatre), All Shook Up, Les Misérables (Mac-Haydn Theatre), Comedy of Errors, I Remember Mama (Monomoy Theatre), Equus, Company (Playhouse on Park). Scott is also a coach for Shrewsbury High School’s Speech and Debate Team with state-level and national champions in drama and public speaking. He holds a BFA in Music Theatre from The Hartt School (University of Hartford). Immense gratitude to his parents for their unending support and to Bob Walsh for this incredible opportunity. www.scottcaron.com

Becca Freifeld* (Stage Manager) is thrilled to join Gloucester Stage Conpany for the first time. Area stage management credits include Two Jews Walk into a War…, Man of La Mancha, Thurgood (on tour), Oleanna, Thurgood, Fiddler on the Roof, and Good (New Repertory Theatre); Every Brilliant Thing (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Barbecue (Lyric Stage Company of Boston); Shoes On, Shoes Off (Brandeis Department of Theater Arts); Romeo & Juliet and Evil Dead: the Musical (Arts After Hours); Hamlet (Wax Wings Productions); Bully Dance (Argos Productions); and Hamlet (Bay Colony Shakespeare Company), among others. Ms. Freifeld is a graduate of Brandeis University, and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Arshan Gailus† (Sound Design & Original Music) previously designed sound for Gloucester Stage’s production of The New Electric Ballroom. Arshan has created soundscapes and original music for theater companies including ArtsEmerson, The Huntington Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, A.R.T Institute, The Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Harvard College Theater Dance and Media Department, Brandeis University, The Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, and Company One. Arshan was awarded the 2016 IRNE Award for Best Sound Design (Small Theater) for his design of Appropriate (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and was a member of the Elliot Norton Award winning design teams for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Company One, 2012) and Twelfth Night (Actors’ Shakespeare Project, 2011). Arshan teaches Sound Design at Emerson College and is the Resident Sound Designer for Emerson Stage. Arshan holds a B.S. in Music from MIT. www.arshangailus.com

Miranda Kau Giurleo (Costume Design) Previous Gloucester Stage Company credits include: The Effect, Flight of the Monarch, Totalitarians, Lettice and Lovage, The New Electric Ballroom, Fighting Over Beverly, Ponies, Dear Liar, Our Son’s Wedding, The Heidi Chronicles, The Wind in the Willows, and Calvin Berger. Boston area credits include: The Scottsboro Boys (IRNE Award for Outstanding Costume Design), Allegiance, SpeakEasy Stage Company; The Convert, Matchless/The Happy Prince, Matt and Ben, Roots of Liberty, Central Square Theatre; Leftovers, Dry Land, Shockheaded Peter, She Kills Monsters, Love Person, Neighbors, GRIMM, The Good Negro, After the Quake, Company One; Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s 2nd Stage; Richard III, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Actor’s Shakespeare Project. Miranda has also designed and built costumes for the U.S.S. Constitution Museum’s original production Sailor’s Wives and Sailor’s Lives. She is currently on the faculty at Bridgewater State University. MirandaGiurleo.com.

Janie E. Howland† (Set Design) is happy to return to GSC after designing Jacques Brel years ago. Recent productions: Les Liasons Dangerous (Nora), A Piece of my Heart (Wellesley Rep), CONSENSES Exhibit (Mass MOCA), Cabaret (Moonbox Theatre), 1984 (BCT), Anna Christie ( Lyric Stage), Other venues include: Tony Williams Dance Company, Harvard Dept. Of Theatre and Dance, Emerson Majestic, New Rep, Weston Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Odyssey Opera, Central Square Theatre, ASP, Speakeasy Stage Company, Ohio Star Theatre, A.R.T. Institute, Boston Conservatory, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Seacoast Rep, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Studio 210. Brandeis University MFA; 4 time Elliot Norton Award winner, 4 time IRNE Award winner; adjunct faculty at Emerson College, Wellesley College. USA Local 829. www.janiehowland.com

Kerri Killeen (Co-Dramaturg) is a freelance dramaturg and graduate of Emerson College Theatre Studies: Acting program. Credits include Emerson Stage’s Dancing at Lughnasa and Richard III. Awarded ATHE/KCACTF Dramaturgy Program Note Region One Award and LMDA/KCACTF Student Dramaturgy Award, Region One Alternate for work of Richard III. Kerri is excited to be making her professional debut at Gloucester Stage.

Christopher Noran (Assistant Director) is a director, actor, and songwriter from Salem, MA making his Gloucester Stage debut. Directorial credits include Smelting (Tomorrow’s Playwrights), Seven One-Minute Plays (One-Minute Play Festival) and assistant direction for Poison of Choice (Salem State University) and The Master and Margarita (Salem State University). He recently participated in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Fellowship. Performance credits include Cosimo (The Painter in the Trees, Imbroglio Productions), Lennox (Macbeth, Salem State University), Kenneth (Clybourne Park, Salem State University), Listener (Ohio Impromptu, Salem State University), Man With Guitar/Narrator (The Grapes of Wrath, Salem State University), Rowan (A Small Death in a Big Country, Salem State University), Antonio/Captain (Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Salem Theatre Company), and Count Federico (Punishment Without Revenge, The Upstart Crows). He holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Salem State University. chrisnoran.bandcamp.com

Karen Perlow† (Lighting Design) Based in Boston for over 25 years, Karen has designed the lighting for over 200 productions. Her work has been seen at Boston Symphony Orchestra, Merrimack Repertory Theater, Speakeasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Central Square Theater, New Rep, Boston Playwrights’ Theater, Boston Midsummer Opera, and Shakespeare & Company. Karen has taught Lighting Design at MIT and Northeastern University, and has been a guest designer at Boston Conservatory, Boston College, Brandeis University, and Emerson College. She is proud to serve as the treasurer of the Theater Community Benevolent Fund and is a member of the United Scenic Artists’ Union 829. She is the recipient of several IRNE Awards for Best Lighting Design, and the NYC SOLO Fest 2013. She’s happy to be spending a little time in Gloucester again.

Niccolò Walsh (Co-Dramaturg) Niccolò has found dramaturgy helpful in his work as an actor, especially in other 1940s period work like SUNSET (2017), winner of the Audience Award for Best LGBT Film at the 2017 Rhode Island International Film Festival, and the official selection of 10+ festivals to date, including NewFest NYC and The Palm Springs International Shortfest. The full film is also available at niccolowalsh.com.

Tara Wykes (Asst. Stage Manager, Apprentice) is a recent graduate of Clark University where she earned her B.A. in Theatre and History. While primarily a stage manager, Tara also has experience onstage through dance and in the technical realm as costume designer and light technician. She enjoys the technical side of theatre and is constantly working to expand her knowledge of all aspects of theatre. Tara enjoys stage managing as she views it as being the organizational backbone for actors, directors, designers and audience members to explore the creative realm of theatre. While at Clark, she stage-managed multiple large scale musical productions for Clark Musical Theatre. Tara was also a stage manager for a local community theatre and has worked with a few companies in the Central Mass area. She is excited and grateful to be working with Gloucester Stage Company this summer.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
ºMember of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC)
†Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE

Dancing at Lughnasa is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.