Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 5:00pm
The Drama Book Shop is pleased to welcome Irish theatre scholars Fiona Coffey and Elizabeth Mannion for a discussion and signing of their new books, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. The March 16th, 5:00pm event is free to the public.
Dialogue and influence between Irish and American dramatists have been playing out for over a century. Eugene O’Neill had J.M. Synge, Arthur Miller and Lorraine Hansberry looked to Sean O’Casey, and today, the influence of Anna Deavere Smith and Eve Ensler is seen in the theatre of Shannon Yee, while David Mamet’s impact is found in the work of Irish playwrights from Nancy Harris to Martin McDonagh. Join us for a discussion about the dramatic exchange and wit shared between America and Ireland, and the power of theatre to challenge, dissent, advocate, and effect political and social change.
Readings by Irish theatre scholars Fiona Coffey and Elizabeth Mannion will be followed by a discussion between the authors, moderated by Robin Miles, and an audience Q&A and book signing.
Coffey’s Political Acts: Women in Northern Irish Theatre and Mannion’s The Urban Plays of the Early Abbey Theatre are social histories of Irish theatre on both sides of the border. The books provide a compelling portrait of the politics of borders imposed, circumvented, and imagined. They examine how gender, the Troubles, civil rights, and the rural-urban contrast have played on the Irish stage from the founding of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre to the brink of Brexit.
Coffey offers “a genuinely new and significant contribution to Irish theatre history. No other book out there does what this book does, which is to provide a comprehensive and contextualized history of contemporary women’s contributions to theatre in Northern Ireland. No matter how long you have been working on Irish revival drama, Mannion’s book will most likely challenge your understanding of it…her carefully researched and comprehensive history of this minor but significant segment of the Abbey’s repertoire introduces us to an exciting body of dramatic work.” —Susan Cannon Harris, University of Notre Dame, author of Gender and Modern Irish Drama
Fiona holds a PhD from Tufts University. Her research focuses on women in Irish drama and theatrical responses to the Northern Irish troubles. She teaches at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Beth earned her PhD at the Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. Her teaching and research cover an interdisciplinary range of Irish studies, from modern drama to crime fiction. Robin is a veteran of Broadway, regional theater, film and television, and Audiofile Magazine Golden Voice with over 25 narration and directing awards to her credit. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she has taught at SUNY Purchase, NYU, UCSD, Yale, and Pace.
The Tony Award-winning Drama Book Shop, now in its 100th Anniversary Year, is located at 150 West 40th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. For more information on this and other events, please visit www.dramabookshop.com.
Coffey provides “the definitive account of women in the Irish theatre of the North.” —John P. Harrington, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Fordham University
“Mannion’s valuable study reasserts the importance of a theatre responsive to such conditions [as urban poverty and workers’ rights] and, in the process, adds much-needed substance to this chapter in Irish theatre history.” —Stephan Watt, Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies