Though the Kenai Performers cast “Dancing at Lughnasa” before coronavirus became a ubiquitous term, the show is an unexpectedly good tonal fit for culture during the pandemic.
“Finding joy in a rough time. I’ve always really enjoyed the Irish mentality of storytelling where you have humor and sadness in the same story and it somehow fits,” said Ian McEwen, who is directing the Kenai Performers production of “Dancing at Lughnasa,” which opens tonight at the performers’ space behind Subway on Kalifornsky Beach Road.
McEwen cast the show in January and it was supposed to be staged in May. But then, of course, came COVID-19. The cast switched to Zoom rehearsals for a couple of months, which was not ideal in many regards, but helpful in others.
“Rehearsal over Zoom really just turned into more of a line reading,” McEwen said. “Every time we would do about half the show at a time. And one of the biggest parts of Zoom was just to keep the actors in the script and to keep that connection. And because we ended up being kind of our own little group, trying to stay in your own little unit because of this, we grew into such a tight group that it really added to the family aspect of the show. So, oddly enough, it helped the performances.”