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The classic plays of the quintessential Dublin playwrightThree early plays by Sean O'Casey--arguably his three greatest--demonstrate vividly O'Casey's ability to convey the reality of life and the depth of human emotion, specifically in Dublin before and during the Irish civil war of 1922-23, but, truly, throughout the known universe. In mirroring the lives of the Dublin poor, from the tenement dwellers in The Shadow of a Gunman and Juno and the Paycock to the bricklayer, street vendor, and charwoman in The Plough and the Stars, Sean O'Casey conveys with urgency and eloquence the tiny details that create a total character as well as the terrors, large and small, that the constant threat of political violence inevitably brings. As Seamus Heaney has written, O'Casey's characters are both down to earth and larger than life . . . His democratic genius was at one with his tragic understanding, and his recoil from tyranny and his compassion for the oppressed were an essential--as opposed to a moral and thematic--part of his art. A new production of Juno and the Paycock will transfer from the Donmar Theatre in London to New York in September 2000.
"From the perspective of the 1990s O'Casey stands out as Ireland's greatest playwright of the century. He it was who most passionately, most powerfully and most memorably dramatized the traumatic birth of the nation. He it was who gave to the twentieth-century theatre a greater range of vivid and original characters, male and female, than any other Irish playwright." --Christopher Murray, from Twentieth-Century Irish Drama"What's astonishing about these dramas, apart from the sheer richness and generosity of their humanity, is their ability, in Shakespeare's great phrase, 'to move wild laughter in the throat of death'." --Daily Telegraph, London
About the Author
Sean O'Casey was born on March 30, 1880 in Dublin, Ireland. Other than the Dublin Trilogy, his many works include "The Star Turned Red," "The Silver Tassie," and "Purple Dust." He died on September 18, 1964.