Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lady Augusta Gregory helped establish Ireland's Literary and Abbey theatres

It is the birthday of Lady Augusta Gregory (1852), who co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre with William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, and wrote several collections of stories from Irish mythology. When she was a child, her nanny sparked her interest in Irish folk tales. Poet and playwright Martyn was a neighbor in Galway, and Lady Gregory met Yeats on a visit to Martyn's castle. The three collaborated on founding the Irish Literary Theater in 1899. It lasted only a couple of years and closed because it ran out of money. In 1904, the trio collaborated with John Millington Synge, George William Russell, and others to establish the Irish National Theatre Society, which settled in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and still runs today. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World debuted there in 1907. Among Lady Gregory's books are The Pot of Broth (1903 (with Yeats), The Jackdaw (1902), Spreading the News (1904), The Gaol Gate (1906), The Doctor in Spite of Himself (1906), and Our Irish Theater (1913).

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