Next Act's staging of the Joyce-ian Bloomsday.

Steven Dietz lived here (he now resides in Austin), but for years he was one of the most familiar names in Milwaukee theater. During Joseph Hanreddy’s tenure as artistic director (1993-2010), the Milwaukee Repertory Theater staged a dozen of his plays, including three world premieres, and other local theaters followed suit.

“Clearly, I rate as a major fan,” says Hanreddy, writing from Cleveland where he’s directing Wait Until Dark. It’s no surprise, then, that Next Act Theatre tapped Hanreddy to direct Dietz’s Bloomsday, which won a Steinberg New Play Award Citation last year.

“Steven’s work is infused with irresistible passion and soul,” says Hanreddy. “He is a master storyteller with a particular knack for plots that are deliciously theatrical and ingenious, Bloomsday being no exception.”

Bloomsday is the day the world honors James Joyce. It’s named for Leopold and Molly Bloom, main characters of his novel Ulysses, which takes place entirely on June 16. In Dietz’s play an American academic (Norman Moses) returns to Dublin to search for a woman he met on a Bloomsday walking tour 35 years ago (Carrie Hitchcock).

“The play,” says Hanreddy, “moves between past and present, real and imagined, and regret and acceptance as the man looks for ‘the one who got away.’”

Go See It

Bloomsday (April 6-30), Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.

‘James Joyce, Matchmaker’ appears in the April 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 3, or buy a copy at

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