Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company scores another hit with Steven Dietz’s time-traveling romance

This bittersweet romance is a good reminder for all of us to treasure each moment of the present, before it becomes the past,” writes Stephen Weitz, producing artistic director at Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC). In his post-show email, he reflects on Bloomsday, the bittersweet romance that recently opened to a packed house at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder.

While solid life advice, we all know this is easier said than done.

What if, say, you were given the chance to change your past in light of what you know in the present. Would you?

Different perspectives on life already lived

At 55, Robert (Justin Walvoord) finds himself at the center of that question, having mysteriously traveled back in time to a pivotal day spent in Dublin as a young, American 20-something (Robbie, Peter Bussian) — or rather, as he remembers it, a “feckin eejit.”

We quickly learn the reason for this bitter denouncement of his younger self: Caithleen (Kate Parkin).

She enters the stage as a young literary tour guide taking groups around James Joyce’s Dublin in the context of his infamous novel, Ulysses. She’s also the woman Robert met, loved, and lost — all in a matter of hours — on this day 35 years ago.

Older and supposedly wiser, Robert looks to intervene in their fleeting love story. Can he change how it ends? If not, can he at least alter the path that heartbreak leads him down?

And then there’s older Caithleen — Cait (Megan Van De Hey) as we come to know her. Because she’s always experienced what she calls “shifting” — where people from her past or future show up in her present life — she’s had the chance to examine life differently. This offers Robert — and us — a new perspective on the parts of life we’ve already lived and perhaps regret.

Maybe revisiting your past, especially the painful parts, is less about seeking to change it and more about finding a way to accept and cherish it.