Modern Irish Theatre
Modern Irish Theatre
Through analysis of both major Irish dramas and the artists and companies that performed them, Modern Irish Theatre provides an engaging and accessible introduction to 20th century Irish theatre: its origins, dominant themes, relationship to politics and culture, and influence on theatre movements around the world. By looking at her subject as a performance rather than a literary phenomenon, Trotter captures how Irish theatre has actively reflected and shaped debates about Irish culture and identity among audiences, artists, and critics for over a century.

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.
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  • November 2008
  • 256 pages
  • 160 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745633428
  • Paperback $28.00
  • 9780745633435
  • Open eBook $22.99
  • 9780745654478
Table of Contents

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?.



About the Author
Mary Trotter is Associate Professor of Theatre and Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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"Trotter is able to conjure up an Irish theatre throughout the twentieth century that experienced moments every bit as laden with a sense of epochal transition of the present. Modern Irish Theatre is generous and thorough in its engagement with recent scholarship, provides succinct readings of key plays, and shows an eye for the detail or anecdote that will push the historical narrative forward."
Times Literary Supplement

"Mary Trotter's Modern Irish Theatre will find a permanent residence on the reading lists for every course I teach on modern and contemporary drama. Her expertise is vast and deep, and this book makes a fine, unique contribution to our knowledge of the 'infinite variety' of Irish drama."
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

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