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Overview

Drama, Theater and Performance Subject Overview

This brief preamble will introduce the kinds of material the reader can expect to find in the entries treating drama, theater, and performance, and suggest…

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O’Casey, Sean (1880–1964)

Born into Dublin tenement life in 1880, Sean O’Casey (originally John O’Casey) went on to become one of Ireland’s most important playwrights, best known for…

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The Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre is a term that has come to encapsulate the many iterations of the National Theatre of Ireland. Located in Dublin, the Abbey…

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Synge, John Millington (1871–1909)

J. M. Synge (pronounced “Sing”) is best known for his plays, first staged at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, that vividly depicted rural life in Ireland. His…

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Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–89)

Samuel Barclay Beckett is widely considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Born in Ireland and living in France for half…

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Irish Modernism

Modernism in Ireland was bound up with major social and political factors during the first part of the twentieth century, especially the effects of independence…

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Scott, Michael (1905–1989)

Michael Scott was the foremost proponent of modern architecture in Ireland during the mid-20th century. He specialized in public commissions, particularly hospitals and transport hubs,…

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MacGreevy, Thomas (1950–1963)

Thomas MacGreevy was a poet, art and literary critic, and Director of the National Gallery of Ireland (1950-63). MacGreevy was born in 1893, during the…

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Gregory, Augusta (1852–1932)

Born Isabella Augusta Persse in County Galway, Ireland in 1852, Lady Augusta Gregory was a playwright, folklore collector, essayist, and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.…

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Jellett, Mainie (Mary Harriet) (1897–1944)

Mainie Jellett was the most important of a remarkable generation of Anglo-Irish women artists studying in Paris after World War I. She is credited with…

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Bacon, Francis (1909–1992)

British painter Francis Bacon was one of the most important figures of international post-war modernism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he developed a characteristic painting…

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Coffey, Brian (1905–1995)

Brian Coffey was an Irish modernist poet whose life and work are closely associated with fellow Irishmen Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), Denis Devlin (1908–1959), and George…

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Yeats, Jack Butler (1871-1957)

Jack B. Yeats was born into a remarkably creative Irish family; his father—John Butler Yeats—was a painter and his brother was the poet W.B. Yeats.…

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Celtic Twilight, The (1893; revised 1902)

The Celtic Twilight is a collection of folk tales gathered by William Butler Yeats during his interviews with members of the rural working class in…

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Irish Literary Revival

The Irish Literary Revival — also known as the ‘Irish Literary Renaissance’ or ‘The Celtic Twilight’ — describes a movement of increased literary and intellectual…

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Itō, Michio (1893–1961)

Itō Michio’s creative endeavors spanned dance, theatre, and film, just as his career spanned the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, however, his life as a…

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Parnell, Charles Stewart (1846–1891)

Charles Stewart Parnell was the first president of the Irish Land League (1879) and the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party (1879–1891). Born to a…

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Stephenson, Sam (1933–2006)

Sam Stephenson was a controversial Irish architect whose work throughout the 1970s and 1980s sparked debates about brutalist architecture and planning regulations. His best-known works…

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Fitzgerald, Desmond (1911–1987)

Desmond Fitzgerald was an architect descended from a well-known Irish political family. He worked for Patrick Abercrombie on Mendesohn and Chermayeff’s 1936 De La Warr…

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Joyce, James (1882–1941)

James Joyce (1882–1941) was an Irish modernist author famous for his experimentalism and for writing about Dublin. All of his major works – from the…

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Celtic Revival

The Celtic Revival was a late-nineteenth-century resurgence of interest in Celtic history, languages and myths that crossed through many disciplines, most notably cultural anthropology, art…

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William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

Irish poet, playwright, editor, writer, senator, William Butler Yeats is among the most accomplished authors of the twentieth century; in 1923 he was awarded Nobel…

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Schoeman, Karel (1939–)

Although Karel Schoeman is not as well-known as his South African contemporaries André Brink, Nadine Gordimer, J. M., Coetzee and Breyten Breytenbach, he is one…

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Finnegans Wake

An experimental masterpiece by James Joyce, published in 1939. Joyce began writing it during 1923 and parts of it appeared under the title Work-in-Progress within…