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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Whereas previous scholarship has concentrated on the political struggle for Irish independence leading to the Easter Rising of 1916, new critical attention to the diverse range of groups, movements, and societies dedicated to multiple forms of political action has revealed a more complex picture of activism during the period 1900–1916. Of particular importance is the role that theatre-making played in binding together a multiplicity of fringe political groups, and in promoting their various aims and agendas. Significant among the vibrant theatre companies that emerged during an intense period of Irish social activism between 1900 and 1916 are: the Ulster Literary Theatre, the Theatre of Ireland, and Na hAisteoirí. The history of these three companies, their achievements, and their political objectives are explored in this chapter.

Keywords: Ulster Literary Theatre, Theatre of Ireland, Na hAisteoirí, activism, theatre-making

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