Uncovering the voices: Irish female playwrights during the free state years



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This dissertation focuses on women playwrights who were producing work during the Irish Free State period, from its inception in 1922 to its end in 1949. Over the course of the three decades of the Free State, women’s legal rights in Ireland were systemically eroded. Women playwrights of the time wrote works that critiqued legislation oppressive to their gender and emphasized women’s involvement in the creation of an Irish identity. I argue that these works became increasingly radical with successive shifts in politics. I look at four women playwrights as case studies, Lady Augusta Gregory, Teresa Deevy, Mary Rynne, and Christine Longford. The works they wrote and had performed during the Free State exemplify the ways in which women artists attempted to critique and push back against the increasing oppression of their gender.



Ireland, Irish, Theatre, Irish drama, Free state, Gregory, Deevy, Playwrights