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Navigating Ireland's Theatre Archive

Theory, Practice, Performance


Edited By Barry Houlihan

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.

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List of 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.

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