New book: Irish Women Dramatists: 1908–2001

Edited by Eileen Kearney and Charlotte Headrick

Paper $34.95s     978-0-8156-3375-4    |    2014

ebook 978-0-8156-5292-2

order now:

” Kearney and Headrick have created the first anthology of Irish women playwrights that is firmly grounded in the history of twentieth-century Irish theater and the social history of modern Ireland. Throughout, the focus is on representing a voice of a people who are scarcely represented on the stage.”

—John P. Harrington, editor of Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama


” This wonderful new anthology celebrates seven great writers, whose dramas display the vitality, virtuosity and variety of Irish women’s playwriting—giving us works that range from comedy to high drama to the deepest tragedy.”

—Patrick Lonergan, National University of Ireland, Galway


“This landmark anthology significantly extends the boundaries of Irish drama.”

—Anthony Roche, University College, Dublin

Irish women dramatists have long faced an uphill challenge in getting the recognition and audience of their male counterparts. There are more female playwrights now than ever before, but they are often ignored by mainstream theatres. Kearney and Headrick strive to shift the spotlight with Irish Women Dramatists. The plays collected in this volume represent a cross-section of the excellent dramatic output of Irish women writing in the twentieth century. In addition to the scripts and biographical introductions, the anthology includes a detailed, critical, annotated essay addressing the development of the Irish theatre throughout this time period, and the place women have artistically carved out for themselves in a traditionally male-dominated theatre industry and dramatic canon.

One of the few collections of plays by Irish women, this volume contextualizes the political and sociological climate in which these playwrights developed. As theatre practitioners—actors and directors—as well as scholars, Kearney and Headrick have devoted years of research to discovering and rediscovering the contributions these women have made—and continue to make—in the Irish and world theatre scenes.