For more than 150 years, Irish playwrights, beginning with Dion Boucicault, have been celebrated by American audiences. However, Irish theater as represented on the American stage is merely a sampling of the national drama, and the underlying causes of 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 Irish Theatrical Diaspora project, this collection brings together leading American and Irish scholars with established theater critics. The contributors explore the history of Irish theater in America, from Harrigan and Hart to the recent productions of senior Irish playwrights such as Brian Friel and younger writers such as Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson. Examining the complexity of the relationship between Irish theater and American audiences, this volume goes beyond analyses of plays to include examinations of company dynamics, tours of companies and actors, audience reception, and the production history of individual works.
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.