Dion Boucicault: Irish Identity on Stage

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 12, 2012 - Drama - 218 pages
Deirdre McFeely presents the first book-length critical study of Dion Boucicault, placing his Irish plays in the context of his overall career. The book undertakes a detailed examination of the reception of the plays in the New York-London-Dublin theatre triangle which Boucicault inhabited. Interpreting theatre history as a sociocultural phenomenon that closely approximates social history, McFeely examines the different social and political worlds in which the plays were produced, demonstrating that the complex politics of reception of the plays cannot be separated from the social and political implications of colonialism at that time. The study argues for a shift in focus from the politics of the plays, and their author, to the politics of the auditorium and the press, or the politics of reception. It is within that complex and shifting field of stage, theatre and public media that Boucicault's performance as playwright, actor and publicist is interpreted.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Becoming Boucicault
5
Chapter 2 Nationalism race and class in The Colleen Bawn
13
Chapter 3 Music myth and censorship in ArrahnaPogue
29
Chapter 4 Alternative readings
59
Chapter 5 The politics of exile
77
Chapter 6 Audiences are not political assemblies
107
Chapter 7 Supporting the Land League
139
Towards an Irish national drama
173
Appendix
184
Notes
187
Bibliography
207
Index
215
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Deirdre McFeely's work on Boucicault has appeared in publications including Irish Theatre on Tour (edited by Nicholas Grene and Chris Morash) and Irish Theater in America: Essays on Irish Theatrical Diaspora (edited by John Harrington). This is her first book.

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