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Mensaje  Admin el Sáb Nov 10, 2012 4:57 pm


Theater started in Ireland in the 17th century. Before this first documented play, Ireland had small theatrical productions put on for religious or political purposes, none of them were for the purpose of entertainment. Since Ireland’s start in theater, the small country has had a large impact on theater all over the world. Many plays that started in Ireland, have now been translated to many different languages and are now are performed in theaters around the world.

The first play ever performed in Ireland for entertainment purposes, was performed in The Grand Hall in Dublin Castle in the year 1601. The performance was organized by Lord Mountjoy of Ireland. The play was called Gorboduc. Many people now believe that Gorboduc was chosen because it illustrates the fall of a once great nation, because it divided, and Ireland has always been a much divided nation. Lord Mountjoy started a trend in Ireland. After this first play, private performances in homes became very popular in Ireland over the next 30 years, before they began to build theaters.

After this 30 years period, many of the Lords of Ireland fled to Kilkenny to hide while the country was at war with England. Kilkenny had always had strong roots in theater, and the Lords kept the tradition alive, while adding their own touch to it. They put on more modernized plays for the time period, and built the first official theater dedicated to theatrical performances in Ireland, Smock Alley. Many believed this theater was a good idea, but it eventually came under the control of the Dublin Administration and showed a small range of plays, mostly Shakespeare, so it did not turn out to be as popular as many wished it to be.

Once the war finished, theater picked back up to full force in Ireland. In the 28th century, Ireland saw to new playwrights appear, Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Goldsmith was raised very poor and over came many obstacles to reach his high status as a playwright. The only two plays he ever published were The Good-

Natured Man in the year of 1768, and She Stoops to Conquer I 1773, both were major hits on the Irish stage. Sheridan was born into money and did not have a very hard time making his way as a playwright. He came from a literary and theatrical background and wrote his first play, The Rivals, at age 24. The play was an instant success. He is thought to be the most significant playwright in Ireland in the late 18th century. Some of his later works such as The School for Scandal and The Critic were also instant successes on the Irish stage. Near the end of his life he bought the Drury Lane Theater, which was burned down in 1809, seven years before his death.

The next Irish playwright of any importance was Dion Boucicault. He started as an actor using the stage name of Lee Moreton. His first play was called The Legend of the Devil’s Dyke, and was released in 1838. He played the lead himself in the first ever performance. His next play, London Assurance, was also very successful when it was first performed in 1841. He released a few plays after that but they were not very successful. He recovered from these embarrassments with his play The Corsican Brothers which was a melodrama released in 1852. After this success he left Ireland and went to New York City. There he released several other successful plays.

After Bouicicault, came Oscar Wilde, also in the 19th century. Wilde, like Sheridan was born into a literary family. He became very successful in 1892 with his play Lady Windermere’s Fan. This made him the most recognized dramatist in Europe. His next plays, A Woman of No Importance in 1893, An Ideal Husband in 1995, and his most known play, The Importance of Being Earnest, released the same year, only amplified his fame as a playwright and assured that he would be remembered for centuries to come. Several of his plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest, are still performed in theaters around the world today.

After Wilde, there was not another significant playwright in Ireland until the mid-20th century, Samuel Beckett. His first ever play, Waiting for Godot, made him an instant success in Ireland, and many other countries in Europe including England and France. Beckett is believed to be the greatest playwright ever in Ireland, and he is definitely the best recognized. Other than Beckett there were a few other significant playwrights in Ireland in the 20th century, including Denis Johnston, Tom Murphy, an Frank McGuinness.

Now in the 21st century, theater in Ireland has hit an all-time low. There is no money to fund the plays so the theater scene in the country is becoming smaller and smaller with each year. Many hope that it will return to its once great state. As of right now it remains to be seen if theater in Ireland will ever return to its once great state, or if it will remain at all.

Makayla Schnaufer
Grado Noveno


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Mensaje  jorge enrique gonzalez el Mar Nov 13, 2012 5:42 pm

Irish theater was very important because it bro ught the attention of the global public

jorge enrique gonzalez

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Mensaje  Andrea del Pilar el Jue Nov 15, 2012 12:22 am

Este teatro aunque comenzó muy pequeño ya que su país es muy pequeño, fue creciendo muy rápido convirtiéndose el uno de los mejores del mundo, lo cual se ha convertido en un orgullo para su país.

Andrea del Pilar

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