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DkIT Researcher Contributes Chapter to New Book on Irish Theatre

01 November 2022

Dr Daithí Kearney, co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre has contributed a chapter to the recently published Staged Folklore: The National Folk Theatre of Ireland 1968-1998. Published by Cork University Press, this book concerns the foundation and development of the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, which has recently celebrated 50 years of performances.

The book adds to an understanding of the importance of theatre in Irish society, moving beyond a Dublin-centric viewpoint to present a regional perspective. It considers performance practice, cultural transmission and the ideological issues and philosophical problems that arise when viewing ‘Siamsa Tíre’ as staged folklore.

Through a series of chapters by Irish and international scholars and theatre practitioners, it highlights the innovative aspiration (at the time) towards sustainable development where traditional culture was developed as a radical model for cultural curatorship and economic regeneration.

Kearney’s chapter examines the importance of tourism and the legacy of touring by the company. Having previously documented the 1976 tour by the company, which included performances on Broadway, for the publication How Popular Culture Travels in 2019, Kearney provides a broader overview that recognises the impact of growing tourism in the southwest of Ireland from the 1960s and the international acclaim received by the company, including performances at EXPO in Brisbane (1988) and Seville (1992). Kearney himself performed with the company for over a decade and participated in national and international tours, including performances at Forde’s Theatre in Washington DC and EXPO2000 in Germany.

One of the editors, Dr Susan Motherway of Munster Technological University, will visit Dundalk Institute of Technology later this year to present a guest lecture and participate in a symposium on folklore in music, theatre, film, and other media.

Book link 

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