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Navigating Ireland's Theatre Archive

Theory, Practice, Performance

by Barry Houlihan (Volume editor)
Edited Collection XIV, 292 Pages
Series: Reimagining Ireland, Volume 87

Summary

The historiography of Irish theatre has largely been dependent on in-depth studies of the play-text as the definitive primary source. This volume explores the processes of engaging with the documented and undocumented record of Irish theatre and broadens the concept of evidential study of performance through the use of increasingly diverse sources. The archive is regarded here as a broad repository of evidence including annotated scripts, photographs, correspondence, administrative documents, recordings and other remnants of the mechanics of producing theatre. It is an invaluable resource for scholars and artists in interrogating Ireland’s performance history.
This collection brings together key thinkers, scholars and practitioners who engage with the archive of Irish theatre and performance in terms of its creation, management and scholarly as well as artistic interpretation. New technological advances and mass digitization allow for new interventions in this field. The essays gathered here present new critical thought and detailed case studies from archivists, theatre scholars, historians and artists, each working in different ways to uncover and reconstruct the past practice of Irish performance through new means.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface (Charlotte McIvor)
  • Introduction: The Potential of the Archive (Barry Houlihan)
  • Part I Digital Archives and Digital Theatre Histories: The Interface of the Performance Archive
  • The Abbey Theatre Minute Book Transcription Project: Digitally Reading the Administrative Record of Irish Theatre (Cillian Joy / Tricia O’Beirne)
  • Staging Absence for Digital Historiography: Feminist Irish Theatre (Ciara Conway)
  • The Abbey Theatre Archive Digitisation Project at NUI Galway: Delivering Mass Digitisation of a Multimedia Archive with Positive Academic and Library Impact (Martin Bradley / John Cox)
  • Digitally Re-envisioning Lost Theatre Spaces: Dublin’s Theatre Royal (Freya Clare Smith / Hugh Denard)
  • Part II Text, Language and Theatres: Archival Literacy and the Elements of Performance
  • ‘Creatures of his Imagination’: The Becoming of Plays and the Archive of Thomas Kilroy (Barry Houlihan)
  • A Shared Language: Placing and Displacing Shakespeare in the Irish National Theatrical Repertoire (Emer McHugh)
  • ‘Three cheers for the Descendancy!’: Middle-Class Dreams and (Dis)illusions in Mary Manning’s Happy Family (1934) (Ruud van den Beuken)
  • Part III Memories and Recounting Performance: Documentation and the Power Dynamics of Performance Archives
  • Women and the Archive: What Vision of the Present Will Be Preserved for the Future? (Brenda Donohue)
  • ‘I Remember’; ‘I Forget’; ‘I Can’t Forget’: Oral History, the Archive and Remembering Corcadorca’s The Merchant of Venice (Anne Etienne)
  • Performing the Troubles at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 1969–1981 (Conor O’Malley)
  • Identity, Legacy and the Official: Power Relations of the Documented and Undocumented in the Red Kettle Theatre Company Archive (Kieran Cronin / Elizabeth Howard)
  • Part IV Reanimation: Archives as and in Performance: Staging the Archive
  • Sometimes the Archive Lies (Colin Murphy)
  • Compiling a New Composite Draft of J. M. Synge’s When the Moon Has Set (David Clare)
  • Index
  • Series index

Barry Houlihan

Navigating Ireland’s
Theatre Archive

Theory, Practice, Performance

About the author

Barry Houlihan is an archivist at the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, and teaches Irish theatre history at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway. He holds a PhD on Irish theatre and social engagement. His research interests include theatre historiography, political and social theatre, archival and cultural theory and digital humanities. He is also a project team member of the Abbey Theatre and Gate Theatre Digital Archive Projects.

About the book

The historiography of Irish theatre has largely been dependent on in-depth studies of the play-text as the definitive primary source. This volume explores the processes of engaging with the documented and undocumented record of Irish theatre and broadens the concept of evidential study of performance through the use of increasingly diverse sources. The archive is regarded here as a broad repository of evidence including annotated scripts, photographs, correspondence, administrative documents, recordings and other remnants of the mechanics of producing theatre. It is an invaluable resource for scholars and artists in interrogating Ireland’s performance history.

This collection brings together key thinkers, scholars and practitioners who engage with the archive of Irish theatre and performance in terms of its creation, management and scholarly as well as artistic interpretation. New technological advances and mass digitization allow for new interventions in this field. The essays gathered here present new critical thought and detailed case studies from archivists, theatre scholars, historians and artists, each working in different ways to uncover and reconstruct the past practice of Irish performance through new means.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Figures

Figure 1.1. Screenshot of the Abbey Theatre Minute Books 1904–1939 Digital Transcription Project, NUI Galway.

Figure 2.1. Image from Between Trees and Water, produced by Painted Bird Productions and directed by Fiona McGeown.

Figure 4.1. Artist’s impression of the Theatre Royal.

Figure 4.2. Surviving remains – theatrical masks and statues.

Figure 4.3. Longitudinal section, Theatre Royal, March 1934. Post-conservation diazotype print. Photograph reproduced courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland © (Archival Ref.: OPW/5HC/4/955/21).

Figure 4.4. Front elevation, Theatre Royal, November 1934.Post-conservation diazotype print. Photograph reproduced courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland © (Archival Ref.: OPW/5HC/4/955/22).

Figure 4.5. Theatre Royal massing model, view of auditorium.

Figure 4.6. Preliminary digital model of Theatre Royal façade.

Figure 4.7. Preliminary digital model, view of the auditorium.

Figure 4.8. Preliminary digital model of Theatre Royal organ.

Figure 4.9. Digital model wireframe showing complexity.

Figure 4.10. Preliminary digital model, stall arches and auditorium.

Figure 6.1. Fiach Mac Conghail, Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, Sabina Higgins, Gregory Doran, pictured at Stratford-upon-Avon. 2014.←xi | xii→

Figure 6.2. Poster from Hamlet, 21 April 1983 [poster]. Abbey Theatre Digital Archive at National University of Ireland, Galway, 0746_PO_0001, p1.

Figure 7.1. Gate Theatre. Youth’s the Season–?, 8 December 1931 [programme]. Gate Theatre Digital Archive at National University of Ireland, Galway, 1613_MPG_0001, p1.

Figure 7.2. Image from Happy Family by Mary Manning. Courtesy of Gate Theatre Archive, Northwestern University.

Figure 8.1. From left to right, Dr Tanya Dean, Dr Brenda Donohue, Dr Ciara Conway, Ciara Murphy, pictured at the launch of the Gender Counts report, commissioned by the #WakingTheFeminists, 2017.

Figure 9.1. Cork Courthouse during the promenade production of The Merchant of Venice by Corcadorca Theatre Company, 2005.

Figure 11.1. Members of Red Kettle Theatre Company, courtesy of Red Kettle Theatre Archive, Waterford IT Library.←xii | xiii→

Acknowledgements

Working on this volume has been made possible by so many people. It has grown from a conference, ‘Performing the Archive’, held at NUI Galway in July 2015. This success of this conference came from working with and being inspired by my colleagues and conference co-organisers, Dr Charlotte McIvor, Dr Ian Walsh and Dr Ciara Conway. This volume simply would not exist without all their long and hard work on bringing the conference together and without their expert guidance and support through various ventures over the past few years. To have your support as colleagues and friends, I am hugely grateful.

Details

Pages
XIV, 292
ISBN (PDF)
9781788742825
ISBN (ePUB)
9781788742832
ISBN (MOBI)
9781788742849
ISBN (Softcover)
9781787073722
Language
English
Publication date
2019 (May)
Tags
Theatre Performance and Practice Theatre History and Archives Digital Humanities
Published
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2019. XIV, 292 pp., 19 fig. b/w, 2 tables

Biographical notes

Barry Houlihan (Volume editor)

Barry Houlihan is an archivist at the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, and teaches Irish theatre history at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway. He holds a PhD on Irish theatre and social engagement. His research interests include theatre historiography, political and social theatre, archival and cultural theory and digital humanities. He is also a project team member of the Abbey Theatre and Gate Theatre Digital Archive Projects.

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Title: Navigating Ireland's Theatre Archive