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MSU's Theatre presents 'Lucia'

Lucia PosterMorehead State University's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance will present its third production of the 2021-22 theatrical season with a production of Rebecca Gorman O'Neill’s "Lucia."    

The play takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, March 31-April 2, and April 7-9. There are matinee performances at 2 p.m. Sundays, April 3 and 10. All performances are in the Lucille Caudill Little (LCL) Theatre in Breckinridge Hall.  

"Lucia" centers around the title character of Lucia (pronounced "loo-CHEE-ah") Joyce, a former professional dancer and the daughter of iconic authors James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. She was romantically involved with Samuel Beckett before he became an accomplished author and was once a patient of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Lucia spent the last two-thirds of her life in mental health facilities, her story overshadowed by famous men, especially her father. Lucia's light shines brightest in this multi-genre play, illuminating a path for others like her.  

Greg Carlisle, associate professor of theatre at MSU, is the director of "Lucia." He said he learned of Lucia Joyce a few years ago and considered her story "captivating, heartbreaking, and inspiring." Shortly after he learned about Lucia, one of his students from 16 years ago contacted him about a different project and had mentioned his friend had written an unpublished play about Lucia Joyce and asked if he would like to read it.  

"I responded with an enthusiastic 'yes,'" Carlisle said. "I loved the play because it not only further illuminated Lucia's story for me, but the play is richly structured, each scene tied to both a chapter of Lucia's father's novel 'Ulysses' and to a genre of theatre."  

Carlisle also wanted to incorporate dance into the production and contacted "Lucia" playwright O'Neill. He collaborated with Dr. Natasha Davis, associate professor of dance and assistant dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to incorporate a three-person dance ensemble into the production.  

"The biggest challenge choreographically has been providing a well-balanced mix of historical dance (1920s expressionist dance also known as modern dance) with contemporary movements of today while ensuring the dancers and the audience can see the foundations of modern dance and examine how it began in comparison with where it is today," Davis said.  

Carlisle said this mix of theatrical genres and dance choreography has allowed MSU students to tell an essential story in a unique way.  

"I want everyone to learn about Lucia. I can't believe I only learned about her recently, and I hope everyone gets as interested in her story as I did," he said. "I hope that anyone in the audience who feels that they struggle to express their creativity will be inspired by Lucia's story to shine their light."  

Tickets are $11 for the general public, $6 for seniors and non-MSU students, and free with ID to MSU students. The MSU Theatre box office is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.      

Reservations are required for all MSU Theatre productions and can be made by calling 606-783-2170 or emailing      

Wearing masks and facial coverings during the performance is recommended, but not required. 

To learn more about MSU Theatre and view this season's schedule, visit