Rutgers Theater Company presents "Dancing at Lughnasa" March 1-10

cast members from "Dancing at Lughnasa"The Mundy sisters seek refuge from the hardships of poverty, religious tension and lost love in Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. Karen Babcock directs the Rutgers Theater Company production. The show runs March 1-10, 2013, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater.

“It’s a story of strong people who overcome obstacles to the best of their ability—of family ties and the reasons to fight for them; of the push and pull of the rules and breaking them; of the sacred and the pagan in each of our lives,” Babcock says.

The world of Dancing at Lughnasa, set in County Donegal, Ireland, in the 1930s, is deeply polarized by the opposing cultures of Catholicism and Celtic paganism. The sisters, all unmarried, share a small cottage and care for an elderly brother suffering from malaria and lack of faith.

“Love lost or nearly had is the underbelly of the emotional lives of the sisters,” Babcock says.

But when the radio plays, the sisters explode into dance.

 “A wonderful discovery for me has been that these sisters often use humor, song and dance as a weapon to ward off despair,” Babcock says. “...No matter what faces each of us, life goes on. I hope the audience will be moved in a way that will inspire hope in their hearts for their own obstacles in life.”

Dancing at Lughnasa runs from Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 10. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.