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Contemporary Irish Theatre

Transnational Practices

Series:

Kao Wei H.

This monograph is one of the first to examine a collection of Irish plays from a transnational perspective in today’s era of globalization. The works dealt with in this study dramatize how foreign cultures are integrated into contemporary Ireland. In addition, they focus on the experiences of immigrants and marginalized people living on the fringes of Irish society. The aim of this book is therefore two-fold: first, it highlights how specific theatrical productions reflect the global factors at work in modern Ireland; second, it seeks to document how Irish dramatists exert a profound impact on theatre practitioners from non-English speaking countries and enrich their stage aesthetics. Accordingly, the works discussed in this book have not been authored by Irish playwrights only. They are set in the Middle East, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, the UK, and the USA. This monograph concentrates both on canonical and established playwrights, such as Dion Boucicault, Edward Harrigan, Eugene O’Neill, Sean O’Casey, Brendan Behan, Samuel Beckett, Frank McGuinness, Sebastian Barry, Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, and on lesser-known writers, including Jimmy Murphy, Dolores Walshe, Damian Smyth, Colin Teevan, among others.
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Acknowledgments

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It is a pleasure to acknowledge the many debts I have incurred during the course of researching and writing this monograph on Irish drama.

First and foremost I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor C.L. Innes, whose abundant knowledge of postcolonial literature has led me to view Irish drama in a global context, following on from my doctoral studies at the University of Kent. Although my thesis was mainly on the Irish novel in the mid-twentieth century, many ideas and observations accumulated that led to the inspiration for this book. Her constant encouragement and friendship are the foundation stones of the current work.

I am also in debt to many colleagues and friends who have long supported me in ways that took one form or another. The discussions I had with them during different phases of the writing, as well as the laughs and parties that occasionally came my way, have added profoundly to enriching this book in many thought-provoking ways. My inspirers (as well as cheerleaders) to whom I owe many thanks are Li-ling Tseng, Kun-liang Chuang, and Yu-chen Lin, Cecilia Hsueh-chen Liu, Belen Sy, Joseph C. Murphy, Raphael Schulte, and Luisa Shu-ying Chang. My graduate students at National Taiwan University and Fu-Jen Catholic University contributed to developing ideas during class discussion and individual consultations. Eamonn Hughes’s encouragement of my research in Irish studies has been uplifting.

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