Date of Graduation

Fall 2011

Degree

Master of Arts in Theatre

Department

Theatre and Dance

Committee Chair

Christopher Herr

Keywords

Augusta Gregory, Abbey Theater, Irish literary renaissance, Irish theatre, Irish cultural renaissance

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies

Abstract

Augusta Gregory was a principal player in the nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish literary and cultural revolution. The fight for Irish independence, culture, and language was being waged on many fronts by several groups. Although part of that war, Gregory was not fighting overtly; rather she was keeping the fight in the face of the Irish from the Irish stage. She used the stage in defense of Irishness, to fight anti-Irish racism and prejudice, to encourage the Irish to stand together, to prepare them for their independence, and to re-introduce them to their culture, history and language. Gregory believed that creating an Irish Theatre in Ireland would be a powerful tool to re-educate the Irish about their roots, as well as a compelling weapon in the war for Irish freedom from British colonialism. Through forty-plus plays, written over a twenty-five year period, Gregory appealed to the national pride of the people, spoke for the right of equality for women, and supported loyalty to Ireland ahead of obedience to Britain. Her plays were the foundation of the Abbey Theatre's repertoire, which helped to raise the image of the Irish in the eyes of the world and reclaimed the Irish culture for all classes in Ireland. "Up the Rebels" was her cry in support of the freedom fighters from the street and from the stage.

Copyright

© Gabrielle L. Glaze

Campus Only

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