The Belfast Maskers’ production of Brian Friel’s award-winning play “Dancing at Lughnasa” runs 7 p.m. daily through Saturday, July 9 at Steamboat Landing, at the foot of Commercial Street on the harbor.

Theatergoers will experience the extraordinary story of five sisters in a small village in Ireland in the 1930s at the time of the festival of Lughnasa, which celebrates the pagan god of the harvest with drunken revelry and dancing. The action of the play is told through the memory of the illegitimate son of one of the sisters as he remembers the five women who raised him.

Michael, the narrator, is only 7 when his elderly uncle, a priest, returns after serving for 25 years as a missionary in a Ugandan leper colony. For the young boy, two other disturbances occur that summer: the sisters acquire their first radio, whose music transforms them from correct Catholic women to shrieking, stomping banshees in their own kitchen; and he meets his father for the first time, a charming Welsh drifter who strolls up the lane and sweeps his mother away in an elegant dance across the fields.

From these small events spring the cracks that destroy the foundation of the family forever. Widely regarded as Brian Friel’s masterpiece, this haunting play is Friel’s tribute to the spirit and valor of the past. “Dancing at Lughnasa” was the winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, as well as a shelf of other plaudits. Acclaimed perennial Maskers director Matthew Ames (“On Golden Pond,” “Talking Heads,” “Picnic”) returns to direct this poignant tale.

Tickets are $8 on Thursdays and $15 all other nights; teen tickets are $10 and tickets for those younger are $5; however, this play is not recommended for children. Tickets are available at the park one hour before shows; by calling the box office at 338-9668; or at Yo Mamma’s Home, 96 Main St.

Belfast MaskersĀ  is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality theater for and with the community. More information about this and other events can be found at

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to