“Seán O’Casey, The Rising and Dublin’s Poor”
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle Street
To mark the Abbey Theatre’s American tour of “The Plough and the Stars,” this talk will explore the impact of the 1916 Easter Rising on “the person who is so oppressed by poverty and exploitation that he hasn’t even enough sense to loot properly,” as Owen Sheehy-Skeffington later put it. In his play, Seán O’Casey focuses on the tenement poor, and women in particular, in his exploration of the Rising. Why was it that women were so incensed by the way they were portrayed that they orchestrated riots and protests against the play on its premiere in 1926?
Clair Wills is Leonard L. Milberg Professor of Irish Letters at Princeton University. A scholar of Irish and British literature and culture, with a focus on the twentieth century and issues of historical and political representation, her recent books include the prize-winning That Neutral Island: A History of Ireland during the Second World War and Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO.