Joan FitzPatrick Dean's Riot and Great Anger suggests that while there was no state censorship, the theatre often evoked heated responses from theatergoers, sometimes resulting in riots and the public denouncement of playwrights and artists. Dean examines the plays that provoked these controversies, the degree to which they were ""censored"" by the audience or patrons, as well as the range of responses from both the press and the courts. She addresses familiar pieces such as those of William Butler Yeats as well as the work of less known playwrights. Dean's original research meticulously analyzes this great theatrical tradition, both on the stage and off, concluding that the public responses to these controversial productions reveal a country that was more pluralistic, heterogeneous, and complex than the usual Catholic versus Protestant, urban versus rural, or pro-versus anti-treaty dichotomies associated with Ireland.
Joan FitzPatrick Dean is Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the University of Missouri Kansas City and author of "Dancing at Lughnasa," "David Hare," and "Tom Stoppard: Comedy as a Moral Matrix.""