"Diaspora and theater are two of the most flourishing areas of Irish and Irish American studies. It was an excellent idea of John Harrington, who has done so much already to illuminate the Irish theater experience both in Ireland and America, to assemble a star-studded cast to contribute these absorbing essays into so stimulating a collection. Irish Theater in America pushes back the frontiers of our understanding of these two fascinating phenomena.”"—J. J. Lee, author of Ireland 1912–1985: Politics and Society
For over 150 years, Irish playwrights, beginning with Dion Boucicault, have been celebrated by American audiences. However, Irish theater as represented on the American stage is a selective version of the national drama, and the underlying causes for Irish dramatic success in America illuminate the cultural state of both countries at specific historical moments. Irish Theater in America is the first book devoted entirely to the long history of this transatlantic exchange.
Born out of the conference of the Irish Theatrical Diaspora project, this collection gathers together leading American and Irish scholars, in addition to established theater critics. Contributors explore the history of Irish theater in America from Harrigan and Hart, through some of the greatest and most disappointing Irish tours of America, to the most contemporary productions of senior Irish playwrights such as Brian Friel and younger writers such as Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson. Covering the complexity of the relationship between Irish theater and the United States, this volume goes beyond the expected analysis of plays to include examinations of company dynamics, analysis of audience reception, and reviews of production history of individual works.
Mick Moloney, “Harrigan, Hart, and Braham: Irish-America and the Birth of the American Musical”
Nicholas Grene, “Faith Healer in New York and Dublin”
Lucy McDiarmid, “The Abbey, Its ‘Helpers,’ and the Field of Cultural Production in 1913”
Christina Hunt Mahony, “’The Irish Play’: Beyond the Generic”
John P. Harrington is dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. He is author of several books including The Irish Beckett and The Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street, also published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 248 pages