Mary Christa Jaramillo and Kyle Dagnan rehearse a scene from "Dancing at Lughnasa."

If you go

› What: “Dancing at Lughnasa”

› Where: Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave.

› When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 9-10; 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, March 15-17; 2:30 Sunday, March 18

› Admission: $20 or $17 students and senior adults

› For more information: 423-596-3780

Ensemble Theater of Chattanooga sets the mood for St. Patrick's Day with an Irish celebration onstage when ETC presents "Dancing at Lughnasa" in six performances March 9-17 in Barking Legs Theater.

Playwright Brian Friel combines the nature of the country with the relatability of family dysfunction in his play about a family on the brink of crisis. Whether from circumstances outside of their control, or circumstances of their own making, they begin to question their life choices as well as their relationships with those around them.

With its 2018 season focused on family, Friel's offering was an obvious choice for the ETC, says Casey Keelen, a member of ETC's production team. With a playful voice, Friel tells of the hardships and everyday struggles the family faces and the realistic nature of the story makes it easy for audiences to connect.

The play is told from the perspective of Michael Evans, who weaves his story between the present and the past he knew. Growing up in a house full of women might be a challenge for any young man, but the fierce love of his four aunts and mother gave Michael a stable footing in life, despite his wayward father.

Michael will be portrayed by local actor Zachery Green, a newcomer to the ETC stage.

"I feel like this show is important for families, or any close-knit group of people. Things can change fast without us realizing what's happening. Those moments of togetherness should be held the highest in recollection, and I think this show highlights that rather well," Green says.

Anna L. Blair, also a newcomer, plays the eldest sister, Kate, a staunchly Catholic woman who has always felt the burden of providing for her family.

Blair says, "We all live the scripts that we have written for ourselves. We all play the role we think is expected of us. When something alters that script, we can either adapt or give up."

For more information: 423-596-3780.


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