Theatre and Self-Determination
The plays of Derry Frontline: Culture & Education
Introduced by Dan Baron Cohen
Guildhall Press (pp310), Ireland 2001
These three plays represent the voices of all those who dedicated their hope, their knowledge, their imagination, their courage, their patience and their commitment to the collective processes that created them. These processes placed their first and final emphasis upon the value and importance of every voice, the intelligence and humanity of which can be heard in the dialogue of every scene. This book is a celebration of those voices and of the many who inspired and supported Derry Frontline in our attempt to reveal the injustice and contradictions in our lives, so as to learn how to transform our world.
What unites the womb and the land? Inside Out debates the morality of abortion within the context of the harrowing decisions Derry teenage republicans confronted behind the community’s barricades in a time of military repression and censorship, in search of a democratic culture of resistance.
What are the consequences of repressing history? Time Will Telldramatises the compulsive destruction of an Anglo-Irish family through the unconscious resistance of a self-exiled londonderry protestant to recognise himself, to reveal how unknowingly the victim can turn executioner.
Can the seduction of consumerism be interrupted? Set within a stalled neoliberal peace process, Threshold imagines a freedomstriker by a pregnant catholic, and her protestant confidante against the cannabilistic violence of globalization, to appeal for a radical new humanity of empathetic solidarity.
These collected plays offer unusual insight into the Irish republican struggle for self-determination as it approached the transition from resistance to negotiation. Beyond their immediate relevance to scholars of the histories, politics and cultures of Ireland, and to those of Irish descent, the plays invite readers and their communities to reflect on central questions about personal and community transformation towards a just and democratic future.
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