Ireland's National Theaters Political Performance and the Origins of the Irish Dramatic Movement
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr
- Publish date: 04/01/2001
- ISBN: 9780815628880
- ISBN10: 0815628889
In the annals of Irish studies and theater history much has been written about the Abbey Theatre. Now, Mary Trotter not only sheds new light on its history but she also examines diverse groups -- political, religious, gender, and class-oriented -- that consciously used performance to promote ideas about nationalism and culture in Ireland of the 1900s.
This is the first book to detail how such groups parlayed theater into an anticolonial tactic. Under their aegis, popular melodramas defied British stereotyping, rhetoric on martyrdom ignited the stage, and the Abbey Players became an ideological site as well as a national theater.
Even as she uncovers the rich tapestry of dramatic styles and strategies employed, the author recounts how each group helped forge a new Irish dramatic aesthetic and a new national identity. In this turbulent arena, the Gaelic League performs folk plays, the Daughters of Erin stage tableaux of great women heroes, and notable figures like W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and J. M. Synge arise as icons of pride. Here is a compelling analysis of theater as nation building in beleaguered Ireland and of a movement that preceded revolutionaries in politics and gave birth to modern Irish drama.