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1951–1966: ‘I remember everything’

1951–1966: ‘I remember everything’

(p.155) 5 1951–1966: ‘I remember everything’
The Abbey Theatre, 1899-1999
Robert Welch
Oxford University Press

Theatre is a business. Managing it requires planning in every step, and budget. All actions are monitored and projects that needed money are reviewed by a board of directors and by people who supply funds before getting approval. A theatre, like a business, is an incorporation of interests needing a balance between visionary expansiveness and steely management. The directors of the Abbey Theatre have shown such a depth of commitment that made the company strong — from Yeats and Lady Gregory to Blythe; Macken to Mason. In this chapter, the objectives of the men and women who led the Abbey Theatre are discussed. Each director has proved to be adaptive to the times, and had objectives corresponding to what Ireland as a nation was going through at that particular time: for instance, Yeats and Lady Gregory had objectives that were national and nationalistic, given the political turmoil apparent in their era. Robinson, meanwhile, was influenced by his experiences in the Dublin Drama League, making his visions more European or Internationalist than Yeats' or Lady Gregory's, although he too had elements from the past that moved the theatre to create a cultural movement. Other directors were also sympathetic to what was happening around the theatre.

Keywords:   Abbey Theatre, business, Dublin Drama League, Robinson, Yeats, Lady Gregory

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