The Brian Friel Symposium


The Brian Friel Symposium at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University (NYU), May 1st - 2nd 2009, celebrated and debated the work of Irish playwright Brian Friel in his eightieth year.  It was a unique collaboration between Drama at Queen’s, Glucksman Ireland House, NYU, and the Irish Arts Centre, New York.

The programme involved academic speakers from Queen’s University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, the renowned theatre director Patrick Mason (Artistic Director of the Irish National Theatre 1993-1999), and actors from the New York area including Belfast-born Geraldine Hughes.

The programme was funded by the British Academy, Culture Ireland, the Irish Arts Centre New York, Glucksman Ireland House, and theIrish Studies Initiative and the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts at Queen’s.

The programme was co-ordinated by Professor Anna McMullan (Chair in Drama at Queen’s) and Dr Eileen Reilly, Associate Director of Glucksman Ireland House, in association with Aidan Connelly of the Irish Arts Centre, New York. It included A Tribute to Brian Friel at the Irish Arts Centre on May 1st 2009, with readings from Friel’s work and talks by Patrick Mason and Anna McMullan, and a Symposium at Glucksman Ireland House, on Saturday 2nd May.

The Symposium featured a lecture on Brian Friel’s Translations byProfessor Anthony Roche of University College Dublin, a seminar on Friel’s stagecraft with papers by Professor Nicholas Grene (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Eamonn Hughes (Queen’s University Belfast) andProfessor Anna McMullan (Queen’s University Belfast, and a closing lecture on ‘Directing Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game’, by Patrick Mason.  The events were attended by academics, students, theatre practitioners and members of the Irish-American community in the New York area.