A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage

Overview

This book traces a significant shift in 20th century Irish theatre from the largely national plays produced in Dublin to a more expansive international art form. Confirmed by the recent success outside of Ireland of the "third wave" of Irish playwrights writing in the 1990s, the new Irish drama has encouraged critics to reconsider both the early national theatre and the dramatic tradition it fostered.

On the occasion of the centenary of the first professional production of the ...

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Overview

This book traces a significant shift in 20th century Irish theatre from the largely national plays produced in Dublin to a more expansive international art form. Confirmed by the recent success outside of Ireland of the "third wave" of Irish playwrights writing in the 1990s, the new Irish drama has encouraged critics to reconsider both the early national theatre and the dramatic tradition it fostered.

On the occasion of the centenary of the first professional production of the Irish Literary Theatre, the contributors to this volume investigate contemporary Irish drama’s aesthetic features and socio-political commitments and re-read the plays produced earlier in the century. Although these essayists cover a wide range of topics, from the productions and objectives of the Abbey Theatre’s
first rivals to mid-century theatre festivals, to plays about the "Troubles" in the North, they all reassess the oppositions so commonplace in critical discussions of Irish drama: nationalism vs. internationalism,
high vs. low culture, urban experience vs. rural or peasant life.

A Century of
Irish Drama includes essays on such figures as W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, Sean
O’Casey, Brendan Behan, Samuel Beckett, Marina Carr, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Christina
Read, Martin McDonagh, and many more.

Stephen Watt is Professor of English and
Cultural Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, and author of Postmodern/Drama: Reading the
Contemporary Stage, Joyce, O’Casey, and the Irish Popular Theatre, and essays on Irish and
Irish-American culture. He has also written extensively on higher education, most recently
Academic Keywords: A Devil’s Dictionary for Higher Education (with Cary
Nelson).

Eileen M. Morgan is a lecturer in English and Irish Studies at the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently working on Sean O’Faolain’s biographies of De Valera and on Edna O’Brien’s 1990s trilogy, and is preparing a book-length study on the influence of radio in Ireland.

Shakir Mustafa is a
Visiting Instructor in the English department at Indiana University. His work has appeared in such journals as New Hibernia Review and The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, and he is now translating
Arabic short stories into English.

Drama and Performance Studies—Timothy
Wiles, general editor

Indiana University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253214195
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Drama and Performance Studies Series
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Watt is Professor of English at Indiana University. Stephen Watt is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, and the author of
Postmodern/Drama: Reading the Contemporary Stage (1998) and Joyce, O'Casey, and the Irish Popular
Theatre (1991). In addition to publishing essays on Irish and Irish-American Culture, he has also written extensively on higher education, most recently Academic Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary for Higher Education (1999), co-authored with Cary Nelson.

Eileen M. Morgan
Assistant Professor of English at SUNY-Oneonta and the author of essays on contemporary Irish culture. She completed a dissertation at Indiana University on twentieth-century Irish fiction and film in 1998, and her essay on Neil Jordan's film Michael Collins appeared recently in New
Hibernia Review. She is currently working on Sean O'Faolain's biographies of De Valera and on Edna
O'Brien's 1990s trilogy, and is preparing a book-length study on the influence of radio in
Ireland.

Shakir Mustafa is Assistant Professsor in the Department of Modern
Languages and Literatures at Boston University. He recently completed a dissertation at Indiana
University on Irish revisionism and modernist Irish literature. His essays on Irish literature,
particularly on Joyce and Irish revisionism, have appeared in such journals as THE NEW HIBERNIA
REVIEW and THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF IRISH STUDIES.and he is, at present, working on a translation of
Arabic short stories into English.

Indiana University Press

Stephen Watt is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Indiana
University-Bloomington, and the author of Postmodern/Drama: Reading the Contemporary Stage
(1998) and Joyce, O'Casey, and the Irish Popular Theatre (1991). In addition to publishing essays on
Irish and Irish-American Culture, he has also written extensively on higher education, most recently Academic Keywords: A Devil's Dictionary for Higher Education (1999), co-authored with
Cary Nelson.

Eileen M. Morgan Assistant Professor of English at SUNY-Oneonta and the author of essays on contemporary Irish culture. She completed a dissertation at Indiana
University on twentieth-century Irish fiction and film in 1998, and her essay on Neil Jordan's film Michael Collins appeared recently in New Hibernia Review. She is currently working on Sean
O'Faolain's biographies of De Valera and on Edna O'Brien's 1990s trilogy, and is preparing a book-length study on the influence of radio in Ireland.

Shakir Mustafa is
Assistant Professsor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Boston University. He recently completed a dissertation at Indiana University on Irish revisionism and modernist Irish literature. His essays on Irish literature, particularly on Joyce and Irish revisionism, have appeared in such journals as THE NEW HIBERNIA REVIEW and THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF IRISH STUDIES.and he is, at present, working on a translation of Arabic short stories into English.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

A Century of Irish
Drama
Widening the Stage
Edited by Stephen Watt, Eileen Morgan, and Shakir
Mustafa

Foreword by Shivaun
O’Casey
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Re-thinking the Abbey and the
Concept of a National Theatre /Eileen Morgan
Part One: Challenging the Received View of
Early Twentieth-Century Irish Theatre
1. The Founding Years and the Irish National
Theatre That Was Not /John P. Harrington
2. The Alternative Aesthetic: The Theatre of
Ireland’s Urban Plays /Nelson Ó Ceallaigh Ritschel
3. Of Orangemen and Green
Theatres: The Ulster Literary Theatre’s Regional Nationalism /Laura E. Lyons
Part
Two: Theorizing and Historicizing Theatre Controversies
4. The Abbey and the Theatrics of
Controversy, 1909-1915 /Lucy McDiarmid
5. More Than a Morbid, Unhealthy Mind: Public
Health and the Playboy Riots /Susan Cannon Harris
6. Saying "No" to Politics: Sean
O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy /Shakir Mustafa
Part Three: Reconstructing Drama
During the "Fatal Fifties"
7. O’Casey’s The Drums of Father Ned in Context
/Christopher Murray
8. Love and Death: A Reconsideration of Behan and Genet /Stephen
Watt
9. Playing Outside with Samuel Beckett /Judith Roof
Part Four: Contemporary
Theatre Projects and Revivals
10. Translating Women into Irish Theatre History /Mary
Trotter
11. "I’ve Never Been Just Me": Re-Thinking Women’s Positions in
Christina Reid’s Plays /Carla J. McDonough
12. Neither Here Nor There: The Liminal
Position of Teresa Deevy and Her Female Characters /Christie Fox
13. Playwrights of the
Western World: Synge, Murphy, McDonagh /José Lanters
14. The Passion Theatre
Company’s Everyday Life /Lauren Onkey
Part Five: Irish History on the Contemporary
Stage
15. The Book at the Center of the Stage: Friel’s Making History and The Field
Day Anthology of Irish Writing /Kathleen Hohenleitner
16. "Ireland, the Continuous Past":
Stewart Parker’s Belfast History Plays /Marilynn Richtarik
17. Frank McGuinness and the Ruins of History /James Hurt
18. The End of History: The Millennial Urge in the Plays of Sebastian Barry /Scott T.
Cummings
Bibliography
Contributors
Index

Indiana University Press

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