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Rev. ed. of: Modern Irish drama / edited by John P. Harrington. 1st ed. c1991.
Modern Irish Drama: W. B. Yeats to Marina Carr presents a thorough introduction to the recent history of one of the greatest dramatic and theatrical traditions in Western culture. Originally published in 1988, this updated edition provides extensive new material, charting the path of modern and contemporary Irish drama from its roots in the Celtic Revival to its flowering in world theater. The lives and careers of more than fifty modern Irish playwrights are discussed along with summaries of their major plays and recommendations for further reading.
This book discusses Irish Passion plays (plays that rewrite or parody the story of the Passion of Christ) in modern Irish drama from the Irish Literary Revival to the present day. It offers innovative readings of such canonical plays as J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, W. B. Yeats’s Calvary, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer and Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, as well as of less well-known plays by Padraic Pearse, Lady Gregory, G. B. Shaw, Seán O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Samuel Beckett and David Lloyd. Challenging revisionist readings of the rhetoric of “blood sacrifice” and martyrdom in the Irish Republican tradition, it argues that the Passion play is a powerful political genre which centres on the staged death of the (usually male) protagonist, and makes visible the usually invisible violence perpetrated both by colonial power and by the postcolonial state in the name of modernity.
This new edition of Anthony Roche's pioneering survey of twentieth-century Irish drama brings the story up to date with new material on the contemporary Irish theatre scene.
Following nearly eight hundred years of British colonial rule, the twentieth century for Ireland was a time of political and cultural re-invention and re-creation. However, independence for the majority of the island came at a price: six counties continue to remain under British authority as the separate country of Northern Ireland; thus, the utopic vision of a united Republic of Ireland remains incomplete. In the following, I explore the ways in which drama and performance featuring the Irish in the twenty and twenty-first centuries have worked to make sense of, and recover from the traumas inherent in, Ireland's colonial past while envisioning a more positive post-colonial future. With that said, I argue that just as the nation continues to be fragmented, so too are the dramatic responses to the national trauma, and therefore any attempt toward a construction of a cohesive national identity as was the goal of early Irish writers such as Lady Gregory and William Butler Yeats will be imperfect. Nevertheless, I argue that each attempt toward a creation of national identity through the dramatic arts is both a necessary and useful step toward re-claiming and re-constructing a colonized past. To this end, the first chapter deals with Irish writers both adapting key works from the ancient Greeks as well as adapting events from Irish history for the purpose of creating a new historic truth. Next, using Sigmund Freud's theoretical approach toward humor, I argue that certain bleakly comic Irish plays both are responding to the violence of the Troubles as well as helping viewers, and playwrights, to recover. Next, I explore the extreme violence of the Great Famine and The Troubles and analyze how playwrights reckon with it. Finally, I consider the hunger strike of Bobby Sands as performance and argue that by effectively staging that which was invisible, Sands made the plight of Irish republicans visible on an international level.
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 Play
This wide-ranging Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama offers challenging analyses of a range of plays in their political contexts. It explores the cultural, social, economic and institutional agendas that readers need to engage with in order to appreciate modern theatre in all its complexity. An authoritative guide to modern British and Irish drama. Engages with theoretical discourses challenging a canon that has privileged London as well as white English males and realism. Topics covered include: national, regional and fringe theatres; post-colonial stages and multiculturalism; feminist and queer theatres; sex and consumerism; technology and globalisation; representations of war, terrorism, and trauma.

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