James Joyce’s The Dead

February 2006

Director’s Note

In his attempts to envision a new form of drama, Belgian poet, dramatist and symbolist Maurice Maeterlinck wrote an essay entitled “The Tragical in Daily Life.” Two quotations from Maeterlinck’s essay perfectly express the goals and spirit of tonight’s production.

“Its province is to reveal to us how truly wonderful is the mere act of living, and to throw light upon the existence of the soul, self-contained in the midst of ever restless immensities…”

“The mysterious chant of the Infinite, the ominous silence of the soul and of God, the murmur of Eternity on the horizon, the destiny or fatality that we are conscious of within us…”

Maurice Maeterlinck 1896

In keeping with these thoughts, James Joyce’s The Dead reminds us that we are amazingly complex, rich creations; occasionally, unexpected and seemingly mundane moments in life reveal this complexity. While terrifying and often heartbreaking, this complexity should be celebrated.