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• Hull House: a settlement
house (community centre for
new immigrants, run by live-in
volunteers) founded by Jane
Addams in Chicago in 1889.
The theatre at Hull House
evolved from a gathering place
for immigrant artists to a space
where both popular and “high
brow” theatre were performed
for working-class audiences.
Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory and
William Butler Yeats, Abbey Theater
From an early Abbey production of John Millington
Synge’s Riders to the Sea, written in 1906
The Abbey Theatre: founded in 1904 in a disused mechanics’
school as home to Gregory and Yeats’s Irish Literary Theatre. Refers to
itself as “the first state-subsidized theatre in the English-speaking
world.” Has premiered the major works of Synge, O’Casey, Brendan
Behan, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, and Marina Carr during its 110-year
company moved to
Greenwich Village, in
New York City, in
Clockwise from left:
George Cram “Jig”
Cook; Cook and
helping with the
scenery for Bound
East for Cardiff
(1916); Edna St.
Susan Glaspell; John
“It is the primary objective of the Provincetown Players to
encourage the writing of American plays of real artistic, literary
and dramatic—as opposed to Broadway—merit…The author
shall produce the play without hindrance, according to his own
—Constitution of the Provincetown Players, 1916
“All these plays were written, staged, and acted by members of
the group; and the most expensive production cost less than
thirteen dollars… The Players’ theatre remains, as it began, a
stage of free dramatic experiment in the true amateur spirit.”
—George Cram Cook, advertising circular for the
Left: Millay’s Aria da Capo (1918)
Right: O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, with
Charles Gilpin (1920), and The Hairy Ape
Left: Program for the
Krigwa Players, 1926
S. Gilpin in
by the Lafayette
by a young
Bottom Right: the
home of several
Far Right: The Harlem
YMCA, home of the Acme
Points to consider:
1) What is the role of environment in this play?
2) Where is the narrative “center” of this play—in the
events that happened before it begins or in the
events that we actually see in front of us?
3) What is the purpose or significance of the play’s
metatheatricality (i.e. its tendency to represent real life as
already innately theatrical)?
4) Trifles is widely regarded as one of the first American
feminist dramas—but what exactly is feminist about it?