Lady Gregory and the Abbey Theatre
I was away from New York when the Abbey Theatre company of Dublin first came here, and I did not see them play until the end of their first week. In writing to a friend to explain who they were and what they had accomplished, I pointed out the perfect naturalness of their acting, the simplicity of their methods, their freedom from all distracting theatricalism and ‘stage business’, their little resort to gesture, the beautiful rhythm of their speech, the absence of extensive and elaborate scenery and stage-settings, and the delightful suggestion of spontaneity given by their apparently deliberate throwing away of technical accomplishments in the strict sense of the word. I said that too many theatres have costly scenery and expensive properties to cover the poverty of art in the play or the players, just as poor paintings are sold by dealers in big glaring gold frames; and had the same refined quality, not always apparent at the first glance, that old Chinese paintings are seen to have when placed alongside of modern paintings by western artists.
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- B. L. Reid, The Man from New York: John Quinn and His Friends (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968);Google Scholar
- Daniel Murphy, ‘The Letters of Lady Gregory to John Quinn’, Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1961.Google Scholar
- 5.See Christopher Murray, ‘Three Sketches by Jack B. Yeats of the Camden Street Theatre, 1902’, Prompts (Dublin), no. 4 (Nov 1982) 3–7.Google Scholar