Eight actors, ranging from freshmen to seniors, take the stage in Benilde-St. Margaret’s one act this year: “Dancing in Lughnasa.” The act is about three grown sisters living with one another in rural Ireland in the summer of 1936, and even with their own individual problems, they find a connection through dance.
The play starts out with Matt Best, the narrator, telling the story of the sisters and also of Father Jack (Charlie Houtz), who is back from 25 years in Uganda and struggling to stay alive due to his malaria. Five women, who are played by Leila Aboussier, Emily Kline, Katie Sisk, Chloe Kennedy, and Catie Schirmers, are living together and constantly bickering. When the women decide they will attend the Harvest Ball for the first time in many years, they grow together through dance and stop fighting, learning to accept each other’s flaws.
Sean Simonson, who plays Jerry––the love interest of one of the women, and possibly another––provides the laughs as a gramophone salesman with big hopes to break into any business that will make him money.
Each character had to learn about the Irish culture and even spoke in an Irish accent throughout the course of the play. “My favorite part was being able to be directed by Mrs. Brew. She’s so talented and inspirational…it’s also fun to learn Irish culture from a professional,” said Leila Aboussier.
So far the actors have competed in two shows. The first competition was conference held at BSM, and although teams were not ranked, they were able to give all-conference-actor and honorable mentions to each individual play. For “Dancing in Lunncesta,” Leila Aboussier was awarded all conference, and Emily Kline, Sean Simonson, Matt Best, and Ian Hamilton were honorable mentions.
Last Thursday the eight performers competed in their second performance in sub-sections at Eden Prairie. The troupe ranked in the top three and now will have the opportunity to move on to sections. “One act is a long and tiring experience, but one that’s definitely worth-while,” said Aboussier, “I’m definitely going to miss it once it ends.” Sections will be held at BSM Saturday, February 7, and if you are looking for a laugh, a good story or just to support these hardworking actors it is worth coming out for.