Irish Drama, the Guthrie and American Theatre The Tenth Annual Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, and Irish Studies, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Friday 20 – Saturday 21 September 2013 Co-sponsored by Irish Studies, the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul; the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis;  and the Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland)

The tenth annual Irish Theatrical Diaspora conference takes place in September at the Guthrie Theater, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the downtown Minneapolis campus of the University of St. Thomas. This event will bring together leading scholars and practitioners to discuss the changing place of Irish drama on U.S. stages, with special emphasis on the links between Ireland and the Guthrie Theater.

The two-day conference will include a public interview with Joe Dowling, the Artistic Director of the Guthrie, keynote lectures by John P. Harrington and Jose Lanters, a talk by Christopher Fitz-Simon on Tyrone Guthrie, and papers on Brian Friel, Thomas Kilroy, the Abbey Theatre and more.

The conference coincides with the US premiere of Brian Friel’s celebrated adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, directed by Joe Dowling, which opens on Friday, 20 September.


The registration fee for the conference is $75. A special student rate of $30 will be available upon production of a valid student I.D..

Delegates who wish to register should send their name and e-mail address to

Registration fees are payable at the conference venue.


Delegates will need to make their own arrangements in relation to accommodation.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Location:              The Guthrie Theater, 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415

8.45 – 9.30            Registration   Level 8 Classrooms

9.30 – 10.45        Panel: Irish Drama and American Theatre

Level 8 Classrooms

Dr. Kay Martinovich, Theatre Director, Chicago, “Irish Women on the Chicago Stage: Marina Carr, Hester Swane and The Mai”

Dr. Shelley Troupe, National University of Ireland – Maynooth, “Developing Images: Druid, Synge, and the Guthrie”

11.00 – 12.00      Talk: Dr. Christopher Fitz-Simon, author/actor/director, on “’Tall Tony’: Recollections of Tyrone Guthrie, 1939-1971”

Dowling Studio

12.00 – 1.00        Lunch

1.00  – 2.00           Guthrie Theater Backstage Tour

2.00 – 3.30            Interview: Joe Dowling, Director, Guthrie Theater, in conversation with Professor Anthony Roche, University College Dublin

Dowling Studio

3.30 – 3.45            Break

3.45 – 5.00            Plenary lecture: Professor John P. Harrington, Dean, Fordham University, “Irish Theatre and American Regional Theater: A Cultural Dynamic”

Level 8 Classrooms

7:30                        Performance: Brian Friel’s version of Anton Chekhov,


Wurtele Thrust Stage


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Location:              The Terrence Murphy Auditorium, Room TMH 260, University of St. Thomas downtown campus, 1000 La Salle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

8.45 – 9.30           Late Registration

9.30 – 10.45             Panel: Joe Dowling as Theatre Director

Professor Nicholas Grene, Trinity College, Dublin, “Dealing with The Dead: Joe Dowling’s Abbey Production”

Professor Patrick Lonergan, National University of Ireland, Galway, “Joe Dowling, Shakespeare and the Abbey Theatre”.

10.45 – 11.00       Break

11.00 – 12.15  Plenary Lecture

Professor José Lanters, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “Creating Constance: The Textual and Theatrical Incarnations of Thomas Kilroy’s ‘Wilde’ Play”.

12.15 – 1.15         Lunch

1.15 – 2.30            Panel: Tyrone Guthrie

Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, Normandale Communtity College, “A Pirandellian Hamlet of Monaghan: the Irishness of Sir Tyrone Guthrie”;

Dr. Ian W. Walsh, University College Dublin, “Tyrone Guthrie and Irish Theatre Before Brian Friel”.

2.45 – 4.00            Panel: The Theatre of Brian Friel

Dr. David Clare, National University of Ireland – Galway, “Brian Friel’s Invocation of Edmund Burke in Philadelphia, Here I Come!”;

Professor Emerita Helen Lojek, Boise State University, Idaho, “Staging Space in Brian Friel’s Wonderful Tennessee”.

7:30        Possible: Conference attendees attend Guthrie performance in Dowling Studio of Sun Mee Chomet’s one-woman play, How To Be A Korean Woman