Megan Cohen’s James Joyce’s Ulysses is a breathless half-hour adaptation of the 265,000-word modernist epic that is quite widely accepted to be the most important English-language novel of the last hundred years. Designed to welcome those who have never cracked the tome as well as established Joyce fans, this night of theater will blast its way through all 18 chapters of the book, from stately plump Buck Mulligan descending the staircase in the opening line to Molly Bloom’s famous stream-of-consciousness soliloquy that ends the tale. The tenacious cast of four (Scott Baker, Derek Fischer, Myron Freedman, and Leigh Shaw) tackle the feat under the guidance of adaptor and director Megan Cohen.
Cohen, the most frequently produced female playwright in the San Francisco bay area, dreamed up this project before having read the book. She says “I figured that if I was scared of Ulysses, most other people were too, but I wanted to learn it and know it and love it and enjoy it, and to share that with others. Theater Pub is an ideal venue for wrestling with this literary titan; no matter how intimidating the source material, there’s nothing less scary than spending half an hour at a bar.” Since starting the project, she’s read the novel four times, and will be providing brief introductory remarks about its themes and its place in the canon. “The attempt here,” she says, “is not to be tounge-in-cheek or witty about the book. This isn’t a parody or a satire like when you go to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company. This is a genuine attempt to see how far into this incredibly rich landscape of ideas and emotions we can travel, like taking a hyperspeed safari through Joyce’s mind.”
Don’t miss this exciting debut when it plays for one night only on Monday, June 20th, at 8 PM. As usual, the admission price is FREE! Get there early to ensure a seat and enjoy a few mo0d-engendering adult beverages.