Cara Lucia

Cara Lucia or

Lucia's Chapters of Coming Forth by Day

Carter's Notes

The play CARA LUCIA concerns James Joyce's daughter Lucia. It was producted by New York-based theatre company Mabou Mines.

As a young woman in Paris during the 1920's Lucia Joyce danced, painted illuminated letters for her father's books, and fell in love with Samuel Beckett and Alexander Calder. By 1932, however, Lucia's behavior had become strange and erratic. She eventually found herself in a mental hospital where she would live for the next forty-seven years. James Joyce suffered great and prolonged anxiety over his daughter and tried every possible means to find a cure for her before his death. He believed she was the natural inheritor of his genius. Those who knew him well have said that the great tragedy of James Joyce’s later life was the mental illness of his beloved daughter Lucia.

As a theatrical ode, CARA LUCIA navigates Lucia's final journey through her imagined afterlife facing her tumultuous past and her legacy as a literary reflection in her father’s final work "Finnegans Wake."

Ruth Maleczech as Old Joyce
(photo by Beatriz Schiller)

Production Info

Written and Directed by Sharon Fogarty
Additional Writing by Lee Breuer

Set and Lighting by Jim Clayburgh

Music by Carter Burwell

Projection Design by Julie Archer

Choreography by J'aime Morrison
Sound Design by Dean Parker

Starring Ruth Maleczech, Clove Galilee, Rosemary Fine

Cara Lucia's U.S. Premiere was April, 2003 at HERE Arts Center, NYC
It was re-mounted as Lucia's Chapters of Coming Forth By Day in 2007

Ruth Maleczech as Old Lucia (photo by Beatriz Schiller)


" 'Cara Lucia' Mabou Mines also enjoys experimenting with language and augmenting it with well-matched music by Carter Burwell and assorted projections and choreography. Some of it is quite moving, like a moment in which the old and the young Lucia dance in a blue light. And the fade-out that closes this odd and oddly compelling work is subtle and beautiful." - Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, April 25, 2003.

"...Written and directed by Sharon Fogarty, the 80-minute piece constructs a three-dimensional collage with help from Jim Clayburgh’s fluid sets and lighting and Carter Burwell’s elegiac score. " - Charles McNulty, The Village Voice, May 6, 2003.