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THR 316 - Modern Irish Theatre: Oscar Wilde to Martin McDonagh to Riverdance

This course explores the many different ways in which the whole idea of a distinctively Irish theatre has been transformed every few decades, from Wilde and Shaw's subversions of England, to the search of Yeats and Synge for an authentic rural Ireland, to the often angry critiques of contemporary Ireland by Murphy, Friel and Carr. Plays of the Irish diaspora (O'Neill and McDonagh) are examined in this context. The course will also explore the ways in which ideas of physicality and performance, including the popular spectacle of Riverdance, have conflicted with and challenged Irish theatre's peculiar devotion to poetic language. Two 5-10 page papers, one 10-15 page final paper on topics to be selected in consultation with the instructor. Two plays per week, varying in length, averaging 80-100 pages per week.
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