"Gathered together in this comprehensively annotated, well-produced volume seven female voices create together a real force, as if demanding, collectively, that their plays be remembered and performed."—Times Literary Supplement
"Eileen Kearney and Charlotte Headrick have created the first anthology of Irish women playwrights that is firmly grounded in the history of twentieth-century Irish theater and the social history of modern Ireland. Throughout, the focus is on representing a voice of a people who are scarcely represented on the stage."—John P. Harrington, editor of Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama
"This landmark anthology significantly extends the boundaries of Irish drama. In these two classic and five contemporary plays by women, resourceful individuals confront their oppressive conditions with a liberating humor and an urge for freedom that is ultimately exhilarating. The informed introduction and helpful notes will promote further study and production of these important plays."—Anthony Roche, University College Dublin
"Women characters dominate the Irish stage—yet, for decades, Irish women dramatists have been neglected, ignored and sometimes deliberately marginalised. This wonderful new anthology takes an important step towards addressing and redressing that problem. It celebrates seven great writers, whose dramas display the vitality, virtuosity and variety of Irish women’s playwriting—giving us works that range from comedy to high drama to the deepest tragedy."—Patrick Lonergan, National University of Ireland, Galway
"Irish Women Dramatists, 1908-2001 includes a diverse range of women’s writing, demonstrating the breadth of sociopolitical issues that women have dramatized over the past century."—Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies
"Offers insight into the lives and work of seven Irish women playwrights, who 'have struggled in getting the recognition and audiences of their male counterparts.'"—The Connacht Tribune
"Arguably the canon of Irish literature and Irish theatre in particular requires not simply expansion but a radical redesign, and this anthology invites readers not only to listen but to consider, to produce, and to challenge the narrative of Irish theatre practice and research. It provides those interested in this task of redesign with a valuable and useful tool."—Irish University Review
Irish women dramatists have long faced an uphill challenge in getting the recognition and audience of their male counterparts. There are more female playwrights now than ever before, but they are often ignored by mainstream theatres. Kearney and Headrick strive to shift the spotlight with Irish Women Dramatists. The plays collected in this volume represent a cross-section of the excellent dramatic output of Irish women writing in the twentieth century. In addition to the scripts and biographical introductions, the anthology includes a detailed, critical, annotated essay addressing the development of the Irish theatre throughout this time period, and the place women have artistically carved out for themselves in a traditionally male-dominated theatre industry and dramatic canon.
One of the few collections of plays by Irish women, this volume contextualizes the political and sociological climate in which these playwrights developed. As theatre practitioners—actors and directors—as well as scholars, Kearney and Headrick have devoted years of research to discovering and rediscovering the contributions these women have made—and continue to make—in the Irish and world theatre scenes.
About the Author
Eileen Kearney is an instructor of theatre at the University of Colorado, Denver. She has directed productions and taught university theatre all across the country, including Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University, and University of Texas in Austin.
Charlotte Headrick is professor of theatre at Oregon State University. She has directed numerous Irish plays and has published widely on Irish drama. Headrick has been a guest director at several colleges and universities directing Irish drama; her work has been seen in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 360 pages