Judging from the audience's reaction, the task was accomplished. The group laughed and sighed at the right moments, though it was the performances of the vocalist, pianist and four actors onstage that truly brought Joyce's words to life.
Playing the chief roles of the story were Chris Cook (Stephen Dedalus), Steve Coats (Leopold Bloom) and Leslie Dana (Molly Bloom). Providing narration, as well as voice to a host of lesser characters, was Sarah Braveman. All players brought Irish accents to the stage, truly bringing the words of Joyce alive for the audience.
There was a musical component to the performance as well. Richard Cherry filled certain parts of the play with piano and accompanied vocalist Amy Doern in several musical numbers.
Braveman said that she was "thrilled beyond belief" to be presenting "Ulysses" on the stage.
"I read the book back when it was contraband," she said.
Since then, Joyce has always been a part of her life. Her favorite book is "Finnegans Wake," which was to be Joyce's next " and final " project after "Ulysses."
When the lights came up, the audience reacted with a standing ovation.
"We had a really good audience," said Donovan. "We've gotten enormous encouragement from our audiences. It's just a question of getting people to discover it."
According to his wife, Judy Donovan, who was operating a projector that splashed pertinent images alongside the stage as the show progressed, the program is all about bringing the library to as many people as possible.
"The community is really looking for literature to be brought to the stage," she said. "We're making the resources of the library more accessible to the public."
Dan Hubbs echoed those sentiments.
"The idea is to make it more accessible and entertaining," he said. "We're lucky to be able to offer this as a free program."
Patrick Donovan said he would like to diversify for the next living library project. The library has already done a number of shows on the work of famous poets, but Donovan is looking for something "not necessarily so literary."
A presentation on the work of a scientist like Richard Feynman or Nikola Tesla was mentioned as a possibility.""