This panel analyses and considers how productions of Deevy’s dramatic work were translated from dramatic to theatrical texts. Thank you to Dr Cathy Leeney (Paper 1) and Professor Emerita Charlotte Headrick (Paper 2) for sharing their scholarship and reflections.
To join the conversation, please use the ‘Leave a reply’ section which you can find underneath each paper.
How do I access the recorded papers? Scroll down through the title, the presenter’s name, and abstract to the recorded paper link. Follow the instructions with regards to closed captions if you wish to switch on captions. Scroll to the end of the page to select page 2, and so forth, which will bring you to the next paper.
Title: ‘Grace to withstand you’: Staging Young Women in Relationship in Teresa Deevy’s work.
Dr Cathy Leeney (Adjunct UCD)
What is the theatrical vocabulary through which theatre stages the flow of power in intimate relationships? This paper will consider how what is ‘given to be seen’ operates to define representations of intimacy between girls or young women, and men in work by Teresa Deevy, and that of some of her contemporaries. The paper suggests therefore the role of scenography in making meaning for audiences, and thus the labile possibilities of Irish plays from the early decades of the twentieth century as they may be staged in our own century.
Laura Mulvey and John Berger have analysed gendered ways of looking and seeing, and Mulvey has identified in cinema the aesthetic of the male gaze, connecting to the idea of ‘looked-at-ness’ in females. Contexts in which woman is framed as object or image to be looked at, and man is the bearer of the look, have given rise to women’s intense resistance to controlling surveillance of the female body on stage. Dissonance between women and men about how they look and what they see destabilises how performance makes meaning in exciting and controversial ways.
Irish drama since the early twentieth century is marked by several influential plays that, with careful discretion, explore the social and sexual issues involved in the power play of heterosexual relationship. Key aspects of staging such as language, body and space seem to shape how the dynamic of power operates, and the 2017 staging of Teresa Deevy’s Katie Roche at the Abbey Theatre, is a case in point.
I aim to lay out some arguments about how girls and women, in sexual relationship with men, appear in performance, and to use some examples of performance that raise issues between textual meaning and staged meaning.
How do I access this recorded presentation?
- Copy this passcode: S+x4KC%z
- Click on the image below which will open the link to the UCD Zoom page.
- Paste in the passcode when prompted to do so.
- To access the captions: before you press play, click on the CC button, or the subtitles icon, and select audio transcript.
- Press play and enjoy!
Cathy Leeney is currently adjunct lecturer in Drama Studies at UCD where she worked from 1995 to 2016. Her chief research and teaching interests have been feminist theatre, women in Irish theatre, gender in performance and directing. Her recent publications and presentations have been on contemporary Irish theatre practice, Irish Women Playwrights including Teresa Deevy, Christine Longford, and Maura Laverty and interculturality in theatre making. In 2017 she directed a rehearsed reading of Eritrean playwright’s Alemseged Tesfai’s The Other War as part of the Festival of Black Irish Theatre at Project Arts Centre, and in 2020 was directing a collaborative project Now Is a Moveable Feast for performance on Poetry Day 2020 which became a radio broadcast on QFM independent radio. She is co-editing Analyzing Gender in Performance (due from Palgrave Macmillan 2021) and working co-editing the publication, with Liverpool University Press, a volume of three plays by Maura Laverty.