The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre

ISBN : 9780198706137

Nicholas Grene; Chris Morash
816 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Jun 2016
Oxford Handbooks
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The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre provides the single most comprehensive survey of the field to be found in a single volume. Drawing on more than forty contributors from around the world, the book addresses a full range of topics relating to modern Irish theatre from the late nineteenth-century theatre to the most recent works of postdramatic devised theatre. Ireland has long had an importance in the world of theatre out of all proportion to the size of the country, and has been home to four Nobel Laureates (Yeats, Shaw, and Beckett; Seamus Heaney, while primarily a poet, also wrote for the stage). This collection begins with the influence of melodrama, looks at arguably the first modern Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, before moving into a series of considerations of the Abbey Theatre, and Irish modernism. Arranged chronologically, it explores areas such as women in theatre, Irish-language theatre, and alternative theatres, before reaching the major writers of more recent Irish theatre, including Brian Friel and Tom Murphy, and their successors. There are also individual chapters focusing on Beckett and Shaw, as well as a series of chapters looking at design, acting and theatre architecture. The book concludes with an extended survey of the critical literature on the field. In each chapter, the author does not simply rehearse accepted wisdom; all of the authors push the boundaries of their respective fields, so that each chapter is a significant contribution to scholarship in its own right.


Nicholas Grene and Chris Morash: Introduction

Part I: Nineteenth-Century Legacies
1 Stephen Watt: The Inheritance of Melodrama
2 Michael McAteer: Oscar Wilde: International Politics and the Drama of Sacrifice

Part II: Theatre and Nation
3 Ben Levitas: The Abbey and the Idea of a Theatre
4 P.J. Mathews: Theatre and Activism 1900-1916
5 Terence Brown: W.B. Yeats and Rituals of Performance
6 Mary Burke: The Riot of Spring: Synge's 'Failed Realism' and the Peasant Drama

Part III: Models and Influences
7 Shaun Richards: 'We Were Very Young and We Shrank From Nothing': Realism and Early Twentieth-Century Irish Drama.
8 Richard Cave: Modernism and Irish Theatre 1900-1940
9 Brad Kent: Missing Links: Bernard Shaw, the Discussion Play, and Modern Irish Theatre

Part IV: Revolution and Beyond
10 Nicholas Allen: Imagining the Rising
11 Lauren Arrington: The Abbey Theatre and the Irish State
12 Christopher Murray: O'Casey and the City

Part V: Performance 1
13 Paige Reynolds: Design and Direction To 1960
14 Eibhear Walshe: The Importance of Staging Oscar: Wilde At the Gate
15 Adrian Frazier: Irish Acting in the Early 20th Century

Part VI: Contesting Voices
16 Brian O Conchubhair: Twisting in the Wind: Irish-Language Stage Theatre 1884-2014
17 Cathy Leeney: Women and Irish Theatre Before 1960
18 Lionel Pilkington: The Little Theatres of the 1950s

Part VII: The New Revival
19 Lisa Coen: Urban and Rural Theatre Cultures: M.J. Molloy, John B. Keane, and Hugh Leonard
20 Anthony Roche: Brian Friel and Tom Murphy: Forms of Exile
21 Jose Lanters: Thomas Kilroy and the Idea of a Theatre

Part VIII: Diversification
22 Marilynn Richtarik: Brian Friel and Field Day
23 Mark Phelan: From Troubles To Post-Conflict Theatre in Northern Ireland
24 Victor Merriman: 'As We Must': Growth and Diversification in Ireland's Theatre Culture 1977-2000.
25 Shelley Troupe: From Druid/Murphy To DruidMurphy

Part IX: Performance 2
26 Chris Morash: Places of Performance
27 Ian R. Walsh: Directors and Designers Since 1960
28 Nicholas Grene: Defining Performers and Performances
29 Julie Bates: Beckett At the Gate

Part X: Contemporary Irish Theatre
30 Helen Heusner Lojek: Negotiating Differences in the Plays of Frank McGuinness
31 Emilie Pine: Drama Since the 1990s: Memory, Story, Exile
32 Clare Wallace: Irish Drama Since the 1990s: Disruptions
33 Melissa Sihra: Shadow and Substance: Women, Feminism and Irish Theatre After 1980
34 Brian Singleton: Irish Theatre Devized

Part XI: Ireland and the World
35 Ronan McDonald: Global Beckett
36 John P. Harrington: Irish Theatre and the United States
37 James Moran: Irish Theatre in Britain
38 Ondř
ej Pilny: Irish Theatre in Europe
39 Patrick Lonergan: 'Feast and Celebration': The Theatre Festival and Modern Irish Theatre
40 Christina Hunt Mahony: Re-inscribing the Classics, Ancient and Modern: The Sharp Diagonal of Adaptation

Part XII: Critical Responses
41 Eamonn Jordan: Irish Theatre and Historiography

About the author: 

Nicholas Grene is Professor of English in Trinity College, Dublin. He has published extensively on a range of topics, including Irish theatre, Shakespeare, Yeats, Shaw and Indian literature in English. His impact on Irish theatre research extends back to Synge: A Critical Study of the Plays (1975); his study of modern Irish theatre, The Politics of Irish Drama (1999) has been highly influential, and his most recent book is Home on the Stage (2014). He is a founding director of both the Synge Summer School and the Irish Theatre Diaspora Project. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. ; Chris Morash is Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing in Trinity College, Dublin; he was previously Professor of English in Maynooth University. Born in Canada, he has published widely on Irish literature and cultural history, including Writing the Irish Famine (1996), A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000 (2002), A History of the Media in Ireland (2009), and Mapping Irish Theatre (with Shaun Richards, 2013). His History of Irish Theatre won the Theatre Book Prize in 2003, and is widely regarded as the standard history in the field. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

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