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Book cover of A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage

A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage

by Eileen M. Morgan, Stephen Watt (Editor), Shakir Mustafa

Publisher: Indiana University Press
Pages: 360
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780253214195






Available to Buy

Overview of A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage

A Century of Irish Drama Widening the Stage Edited by Stephen Watt, Eileen Morgan, and Shakir Mustafa Foreword by Sivaun O’Casey

The history of the Irish theatre from the founding of the Abbey to today’s vibrant scene.

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 (1998), Joyce, O’Casey, and the Irish Popular Theatre (1991), 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 (1999) (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

Contents 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 The Founding Years and the Irish National Theatre That Was Not, John P. Harrington The Alternative Aesthetic: The Theatre of Ireland’s Urban Plays, Nelson S. Ceallaigh Ritschel Of Orangemen and Green Theatres: The Ulster Literary Theatre’s Regional Nationalism, Laura E. Lyons Part Two: Theorizing and Historicizing Theatre Controversies The Abbey and the Theatrics of Controversy, 1909–1915, Lucy McDiarmid More Than a Morbid, Unhealthy Mind: Public Health and the Playboy Riots, Susan Cannon Harris Saying "No" to Politics: Sean O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy, Shakir Mustafa Part Three: Reconstructing Drama during the "Fatal Fifties"
O’Casey’s The Drums of Father Ned in Context, Christopher Murray Love and Death: A Reconsideration of Behan and Genet, Stephen Watt Playing Outside with Samuel Beckett, Judith Roof Part Four: Contemporary Theatre Projects and Revivals Translating Women into Irish Theatre History, Mary Trotter
"I’ve Never Been Just Me": Re-thinking Women’s Positions in Christina Reid’s Plays, Carla J. McDonough Neither Here nor There: The Liminal Position of Teresa Deevy and Her Female Characters, Christie Fox Playwrights of the Western World: Synge, Murphy, McDonagh, Josi Lanters The Passion Theatre Company’s Everyday Life, Lauren Onkey Part Five: Irish History on the Contemporary Stage The Book at the Center of the Stage: Friel’s Making History and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Kathleen Hohenleitner
"Ireland, the Continuous Past": Stewart Parker’s Belfast History Plays, Marilynn Richtarik Frank McGuinness and the Ruins of History, James Hurt The End of History: The Millennial Urge in the Plays of Sebastian Barry, Scott T. Cummings

Synopsis of A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage

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.

About the Authors:
Stephen Watt is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, and author of Postmodern/Drama: Reading the Contemporary Stage (1998), Joyce, O'Casey, and the Irish Popular Theatre (1991), and essays on Irish and Irish-American culture.

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.

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.

About the Author, Eileen M. Morgan

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.

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.

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