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Community Politics and the Peace Process in Contemporary Northern Irish Drama

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Eva Urban

This book examines theatre within the context of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process, with reference to a wide variety of plays, theatre productions and community engagements within and across communities. The author clarifies both the nature of the social and political vision of a number of major contemporary Northern Irish dramatists and the manner in which this vision is embodied in text and in performance. The book identifies and celebrates a tradition of playwrights and drama practitioners who, to this day, challenge and question all Northern Irish ideologies and propose alternative paths. The author’s analysis of a selection of Northern Irish plays, written and produced over the course of the last thirty years or so, illustrates the great variety of approaches to ideology in Northern Irish drama, while revealing a common approach to staging the conflict and the peace process, with a distinct emphasis on utopian performatives and the possibility of positive change.

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Acknowledgements 9

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Acknowledgements This book is based on research done for a PhD degree in Drama Studies at University College Dublin. I am much in debt to my supervisor, Dr Joseph Long, for his assistance in preparing the book for publication. I am also deeply grateful to him for his inspiring and generous mentorship, his passionate commitment to my chosen topic, as well as his constant encour- agement and support as Director of the UCD Drama Studies Centre. I am deeply grateful to my other supervisor, Dr Eamonn Jordan, for his insightful, conscientious and supportive mentorship, his generous help and advice, and for his friendly encouragement throughout the course of my research. I cannot imagine having had better mentors for this project, and my gratitude to them for their knowledgeable guidance and continu- ous support cannot be overstated. Naturally, any inaccuracies or omissions are solely my responsibility. I wish to thank Professors Anthony Roche, Richard Allen Cave and Christopher Murray for their constructive comments on my work and for their support and advice. I wish to thank Dr David Barnett and Dr Victor Merriman for their good counsel at an earlier stage in my post-graduate career, and for first encouraging my interest in the analysis of political theatre. My thanks to theatre practitioners Dave Duggan, Tim Loane, Paula McFetridge and especially Jo Egan for granting me such generous inter- views, providing precious play scripts, and for giving so freely of their time and interest. My thanks also to Kerry McDowell Woods from...

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