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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Modernism, defined here initially in its key features across the art forms, was a strong countercurrent to the dominant style of realism in Irish theatre in the first decades of the twentieth century. This is particularly evident in the dance dramas of W. B. Yeats and his other experiments with non-realist dramatic forms. Séan O’Casey, in his controversial play The Silver Tassie and later works, drew on the bold techniques of expressionism. Denis Johnston, who emerged as a playwright from the 1920s Dublin Drama League, gave the Gate Theatre one of its key early successes in The Old Lady Says No!. And it was in the Gate, with Hilton Edwards as director and Michéal Mac Liammóir as designer and actor, that Irish audiences were exposed to the internationally influential style of presentational staging.

Keywords: modernism, dance dramas, expressionism, The Silver Tassie, Denis Johnston, Gate Theatre

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