Symphony Space celebrates Bloomsday on Broadway, our annual salute to James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses. The evening opens with authors Diana Abu-Jaber (Silverworld), Michael Chabon (Moonglow), Regina Porter (The Travelers), and Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn), in a discussion and Q&A with the audience about this famously complex work. Then we partner with the astonishingly inventive theater company Elevator Repair Service for performances from the novel by actors Daphne Gaines, Maggie Hoffman, Vin Knight, April Matthis, and Scott Shepherd. Directed by John Collins, Assistant Director Maurina Lioce. Tune in for this fascinating event on the literary work that cracked open the 20th century.
Bloomsday on Broadway is produced in cooperation with Irish Arts Center.
This event is dedicated to Isaiah Sheffer, who loved James Joyce’s words, created Bloomsday on Broadway, and made it magical for 30 years.
|This event is available to view with the Symphony Space 20/21 Season Pass.|
To learn about the artists
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882 – 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for the novel Ulysses, a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he utilized. Additional well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Finnegans Wake.
Diana Abu-Jaber’s latest novel, Silverworld, a fantasy with an Arab-American girl at its heart, was published in 2021. Her memoir, Life Without a Recipe, was described by Ruth Reichl as “bold and luscious.” The Language of Baklava, her first memoir, has been published in many languages and won the Northwest Booksellers Award. Her novel Birds of Paradise won the Arab-American National Book Award. Additional novels include Origin, Arabian Jazz, and Crescent, which won the Before Columbus American Book Award and the PEN Center Award for Literary Fiction. Fencing with the King, a novel of Middle Eastern intrigue, will be published in 2022. Abu-Jaber teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Miami, Florida.
Michael Chabon is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including Wonder Boys, which was made into a critically acclaimed film featuring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Notable Books of 2000 and won the New York Society Library Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize. It was also adapted for the stage by the Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle, and the Folio Society has published an edition illustrated by Chris Samnee. The Yiddish Policemen's Union won both the Nebula Award and Hugo Award for Best Novel. His other novels include Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, and Moonglow, which was awarded the California Book Award's Gold Medal as well as the Jewish Book Council's 2016 Modern Literary Achievement Award. Chabon has written a number of screenplays, including John Carter. Most recently he co-wrote the Netflix limited series Unbelievable with Ayelet Waldman and Susannah Grant. He also scripted Star Trek Discovery: Calypso and is executive producer and showrunner for a forthcoming Star Trek series starring Patrick Stewart. He has also collaborated with acclaimed music producer Mark Ronson as lyricist for Ronson’s album titled Uptown Special. Chabon is the chairman of the board of directors at the MacDowell Colony. In March 2012 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Regina Porter is a graduate of the MFA fiction program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and a Rae Armour West Postgraduate Scholar. Her writing has been published in Esquire, the Harvard Review, Tin House, and The Oxford Review. She is also an award-winning playwright. Porter’s debut novel, The Travelers, was nominated for the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award, France’s Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature and Grand Prize for American Literature, a Barnes & Noble Discovery Notable fiction title, longlisted for the 2020 Orwell Political Fiction Prize, and a runner-up for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.
Colm Tóibín is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, screenwriter, and poet. He is the author of nine novels, including Brooklyn, which was honored with the Costa Book Award and adapted into a major motion picture starring Saoirse Ronan, The Master, which was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Blackwater Lightship, The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, and House of Names, as well as two story collections, Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family, and the screenplay for Return to Montauk. Tóibín has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times. Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce, was published in 2018.
Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a New York City–based company that creates original works for live theatre with an ongoing ensemble. The company’s sources range from found material (transcripts of trials, old movies, YouTube videos) to literature and conventional plays (both classical and contemporary). Founded in 1991, ERS has authored an extensive body of work that includes 19 original theatrical productions. These have earned the company a loyal following and made it one of New York’s most highly acclaimed experimental theatre companies. Gatz (2006), along with The Sound and the Fury (2008) and The Select (The Sun Also Rises) (2010), form a trilogy of work based on great American novels from the early 20th Century. ERS productions share a commitment to risk-taking and reinvention, blending unusual texts with innovations in theatrical form. The finished works feature the company’s signature dynamic performance style and playful sense of humor coupled with a rigorous commitment to psychologically complex performances. ERS has received numerous awards and distinctions. Upcoming productions include The Seagull and Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge.
Daphne Gaines has performed with ERS in The Sound & the Fury and The Select. Additional New York performances include roles in Goethe's Faust (Classic Stage Company), The Lily's Revenge and Orpheus (Here Arts), A Walk Across America… and Yokasta's Redux (LaMama), Three Sisters (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Mystery of the Charity… (Target Margin Theatre), and Nightvision: A Vampyre Opera (Joe's Pub, BAM, Here Arts). Her film and television credits include Bull, Orange Is the New Black, Deception, God Friended Me, Royal Pains, Love Is Strange, Addiction: A ’60s Love Story, and Milestones. Gaines trained at Circle in the Square Theatre and the University of Georgia: She holds a B.A. in Theater & Psychology.
Maggie Hoffman is a founder of the avant-punk performance ensemble Radiohole and the artist-run venue The Collapsable Hole in NYC. She has performed in six ERS productions and will be appearing in their forthcoming production Seagull, premiering at NYU Skirball Center in January 2022.
Vin Knight has performed with ERS in Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf; Measure for Measure; Fondly, Collette Richland; Shuffle; The Select (The Sun Also Rises); The Sound and the Fury; No Great Society; and Gatz. Additional stage credits include The Music Man (Sharon Playhouse), Spam (JACK), Our Man in Havana (Portland Stage), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2013 Broadway revival), Marie Antoinette (ART and Yale Rep), The Temperamentals (Barrow Group) and U.S. Drag (Clubbed Thumb). His film and television credits include Search Party, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Succession, Bull, The Blacklist, Homeland, Younger, and Robot Stories. Upcoming projects include Inventing Anna on Netflix and Master on Amazon Prime. Knight is a graduate of Yale University.
April Matthis has performed with ERS in The Sound & the Fury; Fondly, Collette Richland; Measure for Measure; Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf; and Gatz. Off-Broadway she has appeared in Toni Stone (Roundabout/OBIE Award for Performance); Fairview, LEAR (Soho Rep); Signature Plays—Funnyhouse of a Negro (Signature Theatre); IOWA, Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons); On the Levee (LCT3), and in regional productions of Little Bunny Foo Foo (Actors Theater of Louisville), A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep). Her Film and television credits include Instinct,New Amsterdam, Evil, The Good Fight. Black Card, November, and Fugitive Dreams. Matthis was honored with an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
In Scott Shepherd's first production with ES, McGurk: A Cautionary Tale, he slept on a radiator for 20 minutes. In Total Fictional Lie he wore a fake mustache as eyebrows and ate lit matches. In Gatz he read a novel out loud. Additional ERS productions include Measure for Measure, No Great Society, Cab Legs, and Shut Up I Tell You. He has worked with The Wooster Group since 1997, playing Hamlet in Hamlet as well as roles in The Town Hall Affair; Vieux Carré; Poor Theater; To You, The Birdie (Phèdre); and Brace Up!, among others. He has two OBIE Awards, for Gatz and Poor Theater. His screen appearances include First Cow, El Camino, Bluff City Law, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, True Detective, Wormwood, The Young Pope, Jason Bourne, and Bridge of Spies. Shepherd is currently filming Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon in Oklahoma.
Bloomsday on Broadway is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Howard Gilman Foundation, the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the Vidda Foundation, the Lemberg Foundation, and The Grodzins Fund. This program is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Symphony Space thanks our generous supporters, including our Board of Directors, Producers Circle, and members, who make our programs possible with their annual support.
Founded in 1972, Irish Arts Center is a New York-based arts and cultural center dedicated to projecting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st century, building community with artists and audiences of all backgrounds, forging and strengthening cross-cultural partnerships, and preserving the evolving stories and traditions of Irish culture for generations to come. Their multi-disciplinary programming is centered on three core areas: performance—including live music, dance, theatre, film, literature, and the humanities; visual arts—including presentations and cultural exhibitions that tell the evolving Irish story; and education—with dozens of classes per week in Irish language, history, music, and dance.
Expected Run Time is 90 minutes