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The Abbey and the Idea of a Theatre  

Ben Levitas

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
The Irish national theatre movement developed in the ferment of cultural nationalism at the turn of the century, but it was not at all clear what form a national theatre should take: an ... More

The Abbey Theatre and the Irish State  

Lauren Arrington

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
The aesthetic principles of education and representation that Yeats and Gregory set out at the founding of the Abbey Theatre enabled the directorate to cultivate a relationship with the ... More

African American Drama, 1910–45  

Kathy A. Perkins

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay traces the efforts of African American women to establish new voices in the American theater during the period from 1910 to 1945. It discusses the role of the Federal Theatre ... More

American Musical Theatre, 1870–1945  

Thomas S. Hischak

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the history of musical theater in the United States during the period from 1870 to 1945. It explains that while The Black Crook from 1866 may be considered as the first ... More

Arthur Miller: A Radical Politics of the Soul  

Jeffrey D. Mason

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the works of the American playwright Arthur Miller, who was considered a transitional figure in politically charged drama. It refers to the influence of the Great ... More

‘As We Must’: Growth and Diversification in Ireland’s Theatre Culture 1977–2000  

Victor Merriman

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
By the 1970s, arts funding for theatre in Ireland had become concentrated in three organizations: the Abbey and the Gate in the Republic, the Lyric Theatre in Northern Ireland. Changes in ... More

Beckett at the Gate  

Julie Bates

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
The place of Samuel Beckett in Irish theatre is anomalous. On the one hand, he is the inescapable figure, the writer cited by so many subsequent Irish playwrights as a touchstone for their ... More

Brian Friel and Field Day  

Marilynn Richtarik

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
When Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea formed the Field Day Theatre Company to stage Friel’s Translations in 1980, they created a company arguably more conscious of its own symbolic value, ... More

Brian Friel and Tom Murphy: Forms of Exile  

Anthony Roche

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
Irish theatre since 1960 has been dominated by the work of major playwrights, above all Brian Friel and Tom Murphy. The changing social context of Ireland in the early 1960s out of which ... More

Defining Performers and Performances  

Nicholas Grene

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
One measure of a great performer is his or her capacity to define a major role for a generation. This chapter considers the acting styles and achievement of four such performers in some of ... More

Design and Direction to 1960  

Paige Reynolds

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
Early Abbey staging and design was extremely simple, partly enforced by the limitations of their resources. Yeats’s ambitious experiments with the screens of Gordon Craig came to nothing. ... More

Directors and Designers since 1960  

Ian Walsh

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
Although Irish theatre is often considered to be primarily a writer’s theatre, with its roots in a realist tradition, Irish theatre since 1960 has consistently challenged this definition ... More

Drama and the New Sexualities  

Jordan Schildcrout

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the representation of new sexualities in American drama, beginning with attempts by Mae West, Lillian Hellman, and Tennessee Williams to represent queer experience in ... More

Drama since the 1990s: Memory, Story, Exile  

Emilie Pine

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
Ireland in the early 1990s began to undergo social changes at an unprecedented rate. Friel and Murphy, the two playwrights who had established themselves as the leading figures in Irish ... More

Ethnicity and Postwar Drama  

Jon D. Rossini

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines possible directions in evaluating the recent performances of racialized ethnic identities in American drama from the mid 1960s. It focuses on Puerto Rican, Chicana/o, ... More

Eugene O’Neill  

Steven F. Bloom

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay focuses on the career of the American playwright Eugene O’Neill, from his early years as a maker of one-act naturalistic melodramas through the transition to his important ... More

Experimental Theatre: Beyond Illusion  

Theodore Shank

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the history of the so-called experimental theatre in the United States. It argues that experimentation in the theatre concerns not merely words but also images and ... More

‘Feast and Celebration’: The Theatre Festival and Modern Irish Theatre  

Patrick Lonergan

Print publication date:
Jul 2016
Online publication date:
Sep 2016
‘Festivalization’—the organization of theatre cultures around the moveable feast of the festival—is a defining feature of theatre culture in an age of globalization. The effects of this ... More

The Federal Theatre Project  

Barry B. Witham

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the drama of the Federal Theatre Project in the United States during the 1930s. It suggests that accusations of Communist propaganda that eventually destroyed the ... More

Feminist Drama  

Dorothy Chansky

Print publication date:
Jan 2014
Online publication date:
Jan 2014
This essay examines the history of the so-called feminist drama in the United States. It suggests that the feminist theatre is a form of protest theatre and highlights the spread of ... More

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