Dec. 4, 2013: An original theatrical adaptation of James Joyce's Dubliners will be performed on December 12, 13, and 14 at 7:00 pm in the Suzanne Werner Wright Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College. There is no charge, but tickets are limited. Please call 914-395-2412 or email
. for reservations.
The brainchild of Sarah Plotkin '14, the concept of exploring the Joyce text in a theatrical way was born in a course President Karen Lawrence, a Joycean scholar, teaches at the college.
Plotkin took the course Who's Afraid of James Joyce in her sophomore year. "Karen showed me a different way of looking at Joyce, a way that allowed us to study and discuss the characters without judging or condemning them," she said. "She also encouraged the class to apply our study of Joyce to our other interests."
During her junior year abroad, Plotkin mentally refined the concept of adapting the work. When she returned to campus this year, her studies included a theater course in which she constructed an outline of events she wanted to include, along with blocks of text she thought would work well in a show, and pulled together an ensemble she directs.
The professor lent her time to the production. In October, President Lawrence attended a rehearsal and led a discussion with the cast, giving some background on Dubliners and Joyce's life. "Karen has been very helpful in our process of understanding the text as an ensemble," said Plotkin. "Her passion for the book was contagious."
Created collaboratively by the ensemble over nine weeks, the unusually long rehearsal period allowed the group to incorporate movement, music, improvisation, and puppetry into the production--part of the theater department's mainstage fall season. Using the book's text as a structure for the show, Plotkin explained, the ensemble experimented to create an original production.
In Dubliners, fifteen stories unfold in a parade of moments as the characters share their memories, nightmares, and dreams. "It is an event of struggle and epiphany," explained Plotkin. "The characters are trapped in a metaphorical cycle of struggle and realization, never actually leading to action."
Pictured here: Members of the cast of Dubliners in rehearsal.
Photo courtesy Judith Schwartzstein, Director of Public Affairs, Sarah Lawrence College
Photo by N. Bower