Raw Emotion in Little Lake Theater’s “Bloomsday”


Imagine being able to travel back in time to revisit and relive past memories with a special someone. That’s exactly what Robert and Cait do as they turn back the time 35 years into the past to experience the events that brought them – only briefly – together. The two go back to Dublin, Ireland where they watch their younger selves on a James Joyce literary tour, led by Caithleen, as they see young Robbie and Caithleen fall in love and never look back. This tragic love story will have the audience making the most of the now before it becomes the past.

Little Lake Theatre did a remarkable job casting the young and old versions of Robert and Cait. The actors they picked, and the way the crew styled them, made them look incredibly similar. One would think Robert and Cait actually traveled through time to see the young

Caithleen (Carina Iannarelli) and Robert (Connor McNelis)

versions of themselves. Or that the pairs were related (which they were not).

The actresses playing Caithleen, Carina Iannarelli (young Caithleen) and Leah Hillgrove (old Cait), did amazing with carrying on an Irish accent throughout the entirety of the show. Their speech and dialect was pristine and understandable each time either of them spoke. Neither of them ever broke the accent as the emotions of their characters rose and fell.

The crew arranged the prop set-up to make the stage appear twice the size! It was creative how they added large risers to represent the streets of Dublin and restaurants. Along with a miniature bridge and a riser walkway coming out from one of the actor entrances. It truly established the mood and scenery for the play.

The actors playing Robert, Connor McNelis (young Robbie) and Marc Duchin, (old Robert) had great chemistry together on-stage. In each scene they were in, there was an abundance of emotions as Robert watched the decisions his younger self make with Caithleen. Their acting propelled the story and conveyed the feelings of the past and in the present.

(L to R) Connor McNelis, Leah Hillgrove, Marc Duchin, and Carina Iannarelli


The Little Lake Theatre does recommend children attending to be twelve years of age or older due to suggestive themes and strong language used throughout the play.

You can see Bloomsday at the Little Lake Theatre in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania from October 3-5 at 8pm, and October 10-12 at 8pm. Tickets are $19.00-$20.50 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased online.


(As an addition their 71st season, Little Lake introduced a hearing loop. The hearing loop allows someone with telecoil (or T-Coil) equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants to listen to the performance through their devices via platforms with flat wires taped on that serve as the loop. Little Lake also offers external headsets on loan for free if anyone is unsure on how to use the hearing loop. Patrons can get an external headset and have questions answered about the hearing loop at the theatre’s box office before the show.)


Photography Credit: John Herrmann


Emily Koscinski is a recent graduate from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Along with Pittsburgh in the Round her articles have been featured in Midland Today, Beaver County Times, Observer-Reporter, and on the Lincoln Park website. Emily also has her own photography business where her photos have been shown at Robert Morris University and on the Lincoln Park website.


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