En124 irish theatre intro (1)
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En124 irish theatre intro (1) En124 irish theatre intro (1) Presentation Transcript

  • EN124: Introduction to Drama Twentieth-Century Irish Theatre Dr. Riana O’Dwyer English: School of Humanities
  • Chronology
    • 1897 Summer: Meeting of W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn at Duras House, Kinvara, County Galway. Discussed foundation of Irish Literary Theatre.
  • Irish Literary Theatre
        • Prospectus: We propose to have performed in Dublin in the spring of every year certain Celtic and Irish plays which […] will be written with a high ambition and so build up a Celtic and Irish school of dramatic literature.
  • Irish Literary Theatre: Chronology
    • 1899 Irish Literary Theatre, First Season, in Dublin. W.B. Yeats, The Countess Cathleen . Edward Martyn, The Heather Field .
    • 1900 Irish Literary Theatre, Second Season.
    • 1901 Irish Literary Theatre, Third Season: Included by Douglas Hyde, Casadh an tSúgáin , written in the Irish language. [ The Twisting of the Rope ]
  • Acting Style of Irish National Theatre Society Review by A. B. Walkley in The Times of London, May 1903
    • As a rule [the players] stand stock still, the speaker of the moment is the only one who is allowed a little gesture
    • The listeners do not distract one’s attention by fussy stage business; they just stay where they are and listen.
    • When they move, it is without premeditation, at haphazard, and even with a little natural clumsiness.
    • 1904, December 27 th in Dublin:
    • Opening of the Abbey Theatre with
    • W.B. Yeats, On Baile's Strand and Cathleen Ni Houlihan and
    • Lady Gregory, Spreading the News.
    Irish National Theatre Society becomes the Abbey Theatre
  • The Abbey Theatre Dublin
  • Synge and the Abbey Theatre
    • J. M. Synge, In the Shadow of the Glen , performed in October 1903, by the National Theatre Company before it became the Abbey.
    • Riders to the Sea , performed by NTC in Feb 1904.
    • The Playboy of the Western World performed at the Abbey in 1907.
  • John Millington Synge 1871-1909
  • TEXT available in University Book Shop
    • Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama. Editor John P. Harrington. (A Norton Critical Edition) New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co.
    • Get 2 nd Edition (2009) as 1st Edition does not have The Weir and By the Bog of Cats .
  • References in CLASS TEXT
    • Riders to the Sea : pages 58-67.
    • W.B. Yeats: Account of first meeting with Synge, pages 454-456.
    • Joseph Holloway: Account of performance of Riders to the Sea at the Abbey in January 1907, pages 456-457.
  • Yeats said to Synge
    • ‘ Go to the Aran Islands. Live there as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression… He went to Aran and became a part of its life, living upon salt fish and eggs, talking Irish for the most part.’ Text: page 455.
  • Synge on Aran Islands
    • First in May 1898, then every year until his last visit from October to November 1902, five times altogether.
    • 1907: Published the journals of his visits as The Aran Islands , a prose account of his visits and experiences there.
  • The Aran Islands . Oxford University Press, 1979.
    • ‘ The maternal feeling is so powerful on these islands that it gives a life of torment to the women. Their sons grow up to be banished [by emigration] as soon as they are of age, or to live here in continual danger on the sea.’ [77]
  • The Aran Islands . Oxford University Press, 1979.
    • ‘ Now a man has been washed ashore in Donegal with one pampooty [shoe] on him, and a striped shirt with a purse in one of the pockets, and a box for tobacco. For three days the people here have been trying to fix his identity… [The sister] pieced together all she could remember about his clothes, and what his purse was like, and the same for his tobacco box, and his stockings. In the end there seemed little doubt that it was her brother.’
    • [111-2]
  • Riders to the Sea
    • Set on Aran Islands.
    • Maurya, an old woman, has lost 4 sons, plus husband and husband’s father, by drowning.
    • Depend on the sea for a living, but the sea may also claim them.
    • As long as you have something, it can be taken away.
    • Then, the strange repose of having lost everything and being at rest at last.
  • Riders to the Sea
    • Tragedy in the Greek sense: Disaster is not the result of wrong-doing, nor of evil nor guilt.
    • It is something inescapable, belonging to the nature of things.
    • The important thing in human terms is the nobility of our response to tragedy.
  • Riders to the Sea
    • CAST: Maurya with her daughters Cathleen and Nora, and youngest son Bartley.
    • Another son, Michael, is missing, believed drowned.
    • Loss of sons, husband and husbands father. [64-65]
    • Lamentation and resignation .[66-67]
    • ‘ They’re all gone now, and there isn’t anything more the sea can do to me.’ [66]
    • ‘ It’s a great rest I’ll have now, and it’s time surely.’ [66]
    • ‘ What more can we want than that? No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied.’ [67]