James Joyce's The Dead

by  Richard Nelson, Shaun Davey, James Joyce

Full Length Musical, Drama  /  5m, 8f

"Triumphant.... A theatrical treat that enchants, surprises and finally thrills with unexpected depth.... It is Joyce made manifest ... providing sequence after sequence of heart stopping drama." - The New York Post

"The season's hottest ticket.... An elegant ... marvelous job of musicalizing The Dead." - The New York Daily News

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 8f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature), Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, From Broadway, From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Adapted from Joyce's literary masterpiece set in 1904, the last and best known of the short stories collected in The Dubliners, this intimate musical portrays a homespun Yuletide party with Irish music, dancing, food, drink and good fellowship. Sparkling songs, many of them traditional sounding Irish melodies that are performed as entertainment by the partygoers, are all original. Christopher Walken starred in a production that moved from Playwrights Horizon to Broadway.
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Accolades

  • Winner! 2000 Tony® Award for Best Musical Book.

Reviews

"Triumphant.... A theatrical treat that enchants, surprises and finally thrills with unexpected depth.... It is Joyce made manifest ... providing sequence after sequence of heart stopping drama." - The New York Post

"The season's hottest ticket.... An elegant ... marvelous job of musicalizing The Dead." - The New York Daily News

"Achieves a soft spoken air of intimacy that has you leaning forward like a fascinated eavesdropper.... The Dead is quite revolutionary: a musical that dares to be different [and] successfully claims new ground.... It is a reason to celebrate." - The New York Times

Videos

  • James Joyce's The Dead
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1900-1910
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The Misses Morkans' annual Christmas-time party. Dublin. Near the turn of the century.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Song Samples

Overture
0:00
Killarney's Lakes
0:00
Kate Kearney
0:00
Parnell's Plight
0:00
When Lovely Lady
0:00
The Three Jolly Pigeons
0:00
Goldenhair
0:00

Casting

5m, 8f

THE HOSTESSES
AUNT JULIA MORKAN - a music teacher
AUNT KATE MORKAN - her sister, also a music teacher
MARY JANE MORKAN - their neice, also a music teacher

THE FAMILY
GABRIEL CONROY - Julia and Kate's nephew
GRETTA CONROY - Gabriel's wife

THE GUESTS
MR. BROWNE - a friend of the Aunts
FREDDY MALINS
MRS. MALINS - Freddy's mother
MISS MOLLY IVORS
BARTELL D'ARCY - an opera singer

THE HELP
LILLY - the maid
MICHAEL - am music student of Mary Jane's
RITA - another student of Mary Jane's
CELLIST - a music student of Julia's
VIOLINIST - a music student of Kate's

GHOST
YOUNG JULIA MORKAN

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

14 Piano/Vocal Scores

Flute/Alto Saxophone
Oboe/English Horn
Percussion
Guitar
Keyboard (Synthesizer and Harmonium)
Piano
Violin
Cello

Full Conductor Score available upon request (additional fees apply)

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Authors

Richard Nelson

Richard Nelson's plays include The Gabriel Plays (Women Of A Certain Age, What Did You Expect?, Hungry), Oblivion, Nikolai And The Others, The Apple Family Plays (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet And Sad, Regular Singing), Farewell To The Theatre, Conversations In Tusculum, Frank’s Home, How Shakespeare Won The West, Ro ...

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Shaun Davey

Shaun Davey

James Joyce

James Joyce

Jame's Joyce's THE DEAD first premiered Off Broadway at Playwright's Horizons in 1999. It then transferred to Broadway at the Belasco Theatre in 2000.

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