Dawn Duncan is Associate Professor of English at Concordia College and Secretary of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature. In addition to her scholarly work, Duncan remains active in the theatre as an actor and director.2004 0-7734-6498-0
This study demonstrates the practical application of postcolonial theory to Irish drama. It argues that postcolonial tactics must evolve to suit temporal needs, calling for a re-evaluation of writers too easily dismissed or overlooked in earlier generations. Starting with Sheridan’s sister, Alicia LeFanu, around the Act of Union, moving to Dion Boucicault’s comedic melodramas post-famine, then to W.B. Yeats’ romantic Celt mythology plays, on to Brian Friel’s interrogation of nationalisms, and finally to contemporary voices now emerging, analyses of the focus plays and their public reception illustrates why drama, as a communally received literate work, may more powerfully voice postcolonial concerns than the previously privileged novel form.