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The Dead, 1904

An adaptation of the James Joyce classic, The Dead, 1904 takes you back to the classical Victorian era. Witness how a merry family gathering can quickly bring up old regrets and suppressed memories. Watch as a tense conclusion to an evening threatens to lead to an estranged marriage!

cancellation policy

These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

why watch the dead, 1904

The Dead, published by James Joyce in 1914, is the very last story of the 15 short stories in The Dubliners. The Dead, 1904 aptly adds a year to the title to distinguish it from the novel and is led by Melissa Gilbert, a Golden Globe-nominee for her performance in Little House on the Prairie.The original book by Joyce James describes a full-fledged Irish meal in detail, and you can see it come to life on stage. The play takes place in a beautiful townhouse of The American Irish Historical Society along the famous Fifth Avenue in New York that is wonderfully reminiscent of the early 1900s. The building has been restored to appear as if you are seated in a theatre in the Victorian era. The tiny American Irish Historical Society theatre can host only 42 people every night, making the play an exclusive performance to only a lucky few. What makes it even more special is the fact that a full-fledged holiday meal can also be enjoyed with one variant of the ticket during the performance. VIP tickets are also available, and the audience members are served food along with the cast, making it an unforgettable event for lovers of immersive theatre. Although the story begins in quite a lighthearted manner, it is all set for an emotionally heavy finish and is guaranteed to leave you in a contemplative state of mind.

The Story

Gabriel Conroy attends a holiday party hosted by his two elderly aunts, the Morkan sisters, Aunt Julia, and Aunt Kate, along with his wife Gretta. Their niece, Mary Jane, a music teacher, is assisting the aunts with the party as the guests arrive, and provides some soothing musical diversion at times. Guests include students, old friends, a tenor, and several couples. Freddy Malins appears at the party inebriated, to no one’s surprise. The guests have a wonderful evening, filled with singing, dancing and drinking as the snow gently falls outside the Morkan sisters' cozy home. The antics of Mr. Brown provide some much-needed comic relief.

Meanwhile, Gabriel and his wife mull over the past, present, and future. A melancholic solo by the lead performer of the night sets the tone as the couple discuss things about themselves as never before. All of a sudden, the memory of her first love, which ended with the death of the 17-year-old boy, causes Gretta to burst into tears. Over the course of the evening, Gabriel and Gretta begin to understand who they are and what they mean to each other. Will this newfound discovery lead to better understanding between them, or will they inevitably drift apart?

Good For

Fans of Vintage Dramas | Classical Literature and Theatre Buffs.

Critics Reviews

“An unusually sparkling affair… you are not likely to attend a holiday gathering in a more sumptuous setting this season.”

–The New York Times

"A welcome and decidedly grown-up addition to the holiday season’s usual roster of theatrical fare.”

– Theatermania

know before you go

Show Details

The play runs from the 29th of November through the 13th of January.

Show Timings

Tue, Thu & Sun 7:00 PM
Wed & Fri 8:00 PM
Sat 5:00 PM & 8:30 PM

2 hours

Leading Roles
Melissa Gilbert
Ciaran Byrne
Kimberly Doreen Burns
Peter Cormican
Rufus Collins


Ciaran O’Reilly


Barry McNabb

Additional Information


Suitable for ages 14 and above.


The American Irish Historical Society has a seating capacity of 42.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in the Theater District.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theatre is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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