Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995: A Research and Production Sourcebook


SKU: 9780313288050
Author: Demastes, William W Schrank, Bernice
Publication Date: 01/28/1997
Publisher: Greenwood
Binding: Hardcover
Media: Book
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Irish playwrights such as Sean O’Casey, George Bernard Shaw, and John Millington Synge have made enormous contributions to world drama. This reference provides detailed entries for 32 Irish playwrights active from 1880 to 1995. Each entry includes a biographical sketch, a summary of productions, a critical assessment of the dramatist’s work, and extensive bibliographical information. The volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography.

Though Irish dramatists have been writing plays for centuries, Irish drama is largely a product of the last hundred years and is deeply rooted in the political and social ferment out of which Ireland emerged as an independent nation. The creation of Irish drama is primarily the story of the Abbey Theatre, founded in 1897 as the Irish Literary Theatre by Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and William Butler Yeats. Though the Abbey remains Ireland’s national theatre, its existence and role have been challenged and critiqued by individuals who rejected its Irishness and who sought to introduce Irish audiences to the drama of continental Europe.

Through its extended entries for 32 playwrights, this reference charts the history of Irish drama from the late 19th century to 1995. Included are profiles of some of the most important names in literature, such as George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, Oscar Wilde, Sean O’Casey, and Samuel Beckett; along with more recent and less canonical authors whose works are nonetheless distinguished. Entries are written by expert contributors and are arranged alphabetically. Each entry includes a brief biographical sketch, production histories for major works, a critical assessment of the playwright’s career, and extensive archival and bibliographical information. As an aid to locating general works on Irish drama, the volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography.