Steven Dietz, playwright of the charming Irish drama Bloomsday, gives insight the creation of the story and the enchantment of Ireland.
What inspired you to create Bloomsday?
While in Dublin in June of 2013, I imagined a man going back not only to a place but to a “time”… to find a young woman who captured his heart 30 years before. Ireland is seductive that way—for writers (and lovers too, I suppose). While in Dublin with my family, I was reading Ulysses and also bumped into a young man who was conducting a Ulysses tour—as per the play. I did not take the tour myself. While flying home, I wrote the first scene of the play in my notebook.
“That one. That one there. That lovely girl will ask me if I’m here for the tour. […] And today I will say yes—oh, yes—I most certainly am here for the tour.” – Bloomsday
Which character from Bloomsday do you relate to the most?
I have to respectfully pass (or at least cheat) on your question: something of all of them is inside of me, but that does not mean I know them. I don’t—not at all. It only means that something about them is a mystery to me. As I write toward that mystery, a character (hopefully) emerges.
What is one of your favorite things about Dublin?
I don’t care how trite or familiar this sounds: In Dublin, there are sentences in the air. Language—the music of language—the poetry of language—the ache and wonder and grit and guile and pure joy of language is like an insidious fog that enraptures you (I am not talking about accents. I am talking about stories, poems, descriptions, salutations). Tiny country, and how many Nobels in Literature? It’s in the air.
What do you hope audiences take away from Bloomsday?
Oh I’d never presume to wish for a “takeaway.” I am ever so grateful to whomever comes and encounters this story, but, frankly, it’s none of my business or concern what they leave with. If it was, I would try to write toward an external effect. I’m not good at that (nor do I really believe it can be done). I can write toward my own internal intention, that is all. My intention is to tell an authentic story with some humor and ache, love and loss—to tell it as best I can and serve it in a theatrical container of some kind—and then hand it over, say goodbye to it. Once the play begins, it is not mine —it is theirs.
Describe Bloomsday in 5 words or less:
Today is all your Days.
Bloomsday plays at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati April 4-23, 2017.
For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.