The world premiere production of the Frank McGuinness adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead plays Dublin's Abbey Theatre, under the direction of former Abbey and current Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling. The Dead opens tonight, December 11 and will play through January 19, 2013.
Dowling, who has been Artistic Director at the Guthrie since 1995, returns to the Dublin Theater where he served as Artistic Director from 1978-85 (at age 29, he was the Abbey's youngest-ever artistic director) and where he also served from 1973-76 as artistic director of Peacock Theatre, the Abbey's Second Stage.
The Dead features what Dowling terms a "dream team" cast of prominent Irish actors including Derbhle Crotty as Gretta; Crotty most recently worked with Dowling as director in 2011 in The Field by John B. Keane at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. The cast also features Rosaleen Linehan, who appeared in Dowling's production of Tartuffe at Roundabout Theatre in 2003 as well as the Dowling-directed Guthrie Productions of The Plough and the Stars in 2000 and Blithe Spirit in 1997. An earlier production of The Plough and the Stars directed by Dowling in 1989 at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre also featured The Dead cast member Lorcan Cranich.
Dowling's cast also includes Stanley Townsend as Gabriel; Townsend has appeared on major stages in the U.K. including The National Theatre, the Royal Court and the Old Vic, as well as numerous film and television credits. The Dead appears as part of the Abbey's Great Irish Writers Season that began in June 2012 and has featured work by Ireland's most influential writers including Oscar Wilde and Sean O'Casey with new writing by Owen McCafferty and Gary Duggan.
Joe Dowling has directed extensively throughout North America at theaters including Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, The Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Broadway's Roundabout Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. His production of Juno and the Paycock played on Broadway, at the International Edinburgh Festival and in Israel. He has directed at Ontario's Stratford Festival as well as at Canada's Banff Centre and Centaur Theatre. He is also the former artistic director of Dublin's Gaiety Theatre.
Dowling will return to the Guthrie in December, when he will begin rehearsal for Long Day's Journey into Night featuring Peter Michael Goetz (Guthrie: The Sunshine Boys, Death of a Salesman; Broadway: Beyond Therapy, The Government Inspector, Brighton Beach Memoirs; many film and television credits and Helen Carey (Guthrie: Winter's Tale, Death of a Salesman; Broadway: London Assurance, Pygmalion, Hedda Gabler; Theater: Washington's Shakespeare Theatre, Major Barbara (Helen Hayes Award), The Persians, Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth and Volpone (Helen Hayes Award), Arms and the Man, Ontario's Shakespeare Festival Theatre; many film and television credits) as James and Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's American classic. The Dowling-directed production will be the first ever in the Guthrie's 50 seasons; Long Day's Journey into Night will run from January 12-February 23, 2013 on the Guthrie's Wurtele Thrust Stage.