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Costello, Thomas (2013) STAGING IRELAND’S YANKS: AMERICAN CHARACTERS IN CONTEMPORARY IRISH THEATRE. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Over the past 50 years Ireland has undergone a sweeping series of changes that have transitioned the nation from a protectionist agrarian state to a modern, globalized entity. The United States has played a significant role in that evolution. Once the destination for a majority of Irish emigrants, later an arbiter in the peace process, and then the primary investor fueling a new Irish economy, America has a relationship with Ireland that is concurrently political, economic, and cultural. Consequently, when Irish playwrights and theatres produce work that engages with contemporary issues facing Ireland, they often use American characters as catalysts to explore specifically Irish problems.

On a basic level, this study contends that American characters have emerged as an important paradigm in contemporary Irish theatre, and that these characters dynamically track the evolution of Ireland’s relationship with the United States. Further, this study demonstrates that Irish playwrights often use American characters in order to document, question, or criticize trends within contemporary Irish culture. Through the analysis of thirteen plays and their historical contexts, this work looks at both theatrical production and reception within the three major paradigms of contemporary Irish history: Emigration, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the Celtic Tiger economy. After assessing how American characters are portrayed in Irish theatre across multiple historical contexts, it becomes clear that these characters do not exist in isolation, but instead have become an integral part of contemporary Irish theatre itself.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Costello, Thomastbc8@pitt.eduTBC8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCoinachie, Brucebamcco@pitt.eduBAMCCO
Committee MemberFavorini, Attiliobucfav@pitt.eduBUCFAV
Committee MemberGeorge, Kathleengeorgeke@pitt.eduGEORGEKE
Committee MemberMiller,
Date: 28 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 May 2013
Approval Date: 28 September 2013
Submission Date: 31 May 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 257
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irish Theatre, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Northern Ireland, Celtic Tiger, Emigration
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2013 21:57
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2018 05:15


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