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The Lowdown on BC's 'Dancing at Lughnasa'

If you’re looking to tap into your artistic side this coming weekend, join the Boston College Dramatics Society and the Contemporary Theater for their presentation of Dancing at Lughnasa. Here’s Rebecca Vilardo, the production manager of the show, who chatted with the Gavel about their new production.


Adriana Sarro/Gavel Media


Hi Becky! Introduce yourself.

My name is Rebecca Vilardo, I’m a sophomore from New Jersey and I’m a Secondary Education and English double major.

Tell us a bit about the two theater groups on campus.

There are two different groups here on campus. There is the Boston College Dramatics Society and the Contemporary Theater, which is the one I’m in. We’re both student groups on campus that do theater-related activities, and they’re both completely run, produced, directed, casted and acted by students. We also do other theater events like cabarets and open mics.

You’re a sophomore now. How’d you first get involved?

In high school I did a lot of theater, both backstage and onstage. When I got to BC I saw the Boston College Dramatics Society and the Contemporary Theater, and they both looked like tight-nit groups that did a lot of theater activities. I knew that I really wanted to get involved in that, and when they sent out the application, I applied.

What types of productions or plays do you guys put on?

In Contemporary Theater we focus more on plays from the last couple of decades, more contemporary works. Dramatics Society is more broad. They’re not really limited in what plays they can do. We both do more abstract things, for example Contemporary Theater did an open mic last semester, and this semester we’re doing a poetry reading at Arts Fess. Dramatics Society does a lot of themed cabarets, and they’re doing a Shakespeare workshop at the Arts Fest this year. A bunch of cool theater things.

Do you usually work together in productions, or do you mostly have separate events?

We usually work separately, but this semester Dancing at Lughnasa is a joint effort. Usually once a year we do something combined.

How can someone get involved with your group?

Late in each fall semester, each group sends out applications to the theater Department’s listserve, as well as volunteer opportunities and events to attend. So getting on that listserve is a great way to get involved. Also we’ll post things on the back bulletin board of Robsham.

You briefly mentioned your upcoming production Dancing at Lughnasa. Tell me more about what it’s about.

It’s a memory play set in Ireland in the year 1936, which makes it kind of different and exciting. It’s told through the eyes of a man named Michael who is now an adult, but he’s telling the story of this one summer when he was seven years old. It’s about his mother and her four sisters, who are all not married, and it deals with the implications of this within a Catholic setting. They also have a brother who is a priest and just came back on a mission from Africa. It deals a lot with the family coming together and falling apart in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. There are a lot of very cool themes to it.

Why did you guys choose to enact this specific production? Is there some personal tie to it?

The director studied abroad in Ireland, so that was something that she had a connection to. Also, Boston and BC are very Irish-centric locations, and we had a lot of support for that reason from the school and the Irish Studies Department. That was definitely a big factor.

Photo courtesy of Boston College Dramatics Society / Facebook

When will the show be presented?

It opens April 3rd and runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30PM and Sunday at 2:00PM.

How can people get tickets?

You can email, or go to the box office at Robsham Theater. The tickets are $10.

Can you share some insight on productions coming in the future?

Yeah! Like I said, Contemporary Theater is doing a poetry reading at Arts Fest, for which anyone is welcome to contact us if they want to participate. Also we’re currently accepting proposals for plays next year. So we’re in the process of figuring that out, which is very exciting.

What role do you think theater plays within the Boston College community?

I think theater is especially important at a school like BC, because it’s not necessarily known for a lot of involvement in the fine arts. It’s definitely more of an academic focus, which is great, but I think theater is a great outlet for expression and for people to be able to dive into the arts, if that’s something that they’re interested in.

Is there anything else you want people to know about this production?

It involves design elements for all of the senses, which is really interesting and something we’ve never done before. That’s pretty exciting.

Find out more about the Boston College Contemporary Theater, the Boston College Dramatics Society and 'Dancing at Lughnasa'. Tickets are available online, at the Robsham Theater box office or through contacting the email.

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