Modern Irish Theatre
November 2008, Polity
This text provides the reader with discussion and analysis of:
- Significant playwrights and companies, from Lady Gregory to Brendan Behan to Marina Carr, and from the Abbey Theatre to the Lyric Theatre to Field Day;
- Major historical events, including the war for Independence, the Troubles, and the social effects of the Celtic Tiger economy;
- Critical Methodologies: how postcolonial, diaspora, performance, gender, and cultural theories, among others, shed light on Irish theatre’s political and artistic significance, and how it has addressed specific national concerns.
Because of its comprehensiveness and originality, Modern Irish Theatre will be of great interest to students and general readers interested in theatre studies, cultural studies, Irish studies, and political performance.
Timeline of Significant Events in Irish Arts and Politics.
Part I: Performing the Nation, 1891-1916.
Introduction to Part I.
1 Imagining an Aesthetic: Modern Irish Theatre's First Years.
2 Realisms and Regionalisms.
Part II: War and After, 1916-1948.
Introduction to Part II.
3. The Abbey Becomes Institution, 1916-1929.
4. New Voices of the 1930s and 1940s.
Part III: Rewriting Tradition, 1948-1980.
Introduction to Part III.
5. Irish Theatre in the 1950s.
6. Irish Theatre's Second Wave.
Part IV: Re-imagining Ireland, 1980-2007.
Introduction to Part IV.
7. Theatres Without Borders: Irish Theatre in the 1980s.
8. A New Sense of Place: Irish Theatre since the 1990s.
Conclusion: What is an Irish Play?.
Stephen Watt, Indiana University
“Through a set of superbly constructed phases Mary Trotter situates twentieth-century Irish theatre in its evolving socio-political contexts. She covers theatrical activities from Belfast to Cork and from Dublin to Galway, analysing along the way a vast array of texts and performances from the high modernism of the early Abbey through to the community theatre of Charabanc. In a highly accessible style she articulates superbly how Irish theatre has performed the nation, how its use of realism can be read as counter-hegemonic, and how representations of gender and race have disrupted the myth of the rural in the theatrical imaginary.”
Brian Singleton, Trinity College, Dublin