Acting Between the Lines is the first full-length study of Northern Ireland's Field Day Theatre Company. Since its creation in 1980 by actor Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) and playwright Brian Friel (Translations, Dancing at Lughnasa), Field Day has established itself as one of the most important elements in contemporary Irish culture. From its base in Northern Ireland, the Company has brought challenging drama to the entire island, 'from Coleraine to Kerry'. With the addition to its board of directors of poets and critics such as Tom Paulin, Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, and broadcaster David Hammond, Field Day has ventured into the realm of the more explicitly political with a controversial pamphlet series. Marilynn Richtarik
has written a fascinating introduction to Field Day, providing a senstive analysis of the complex interrelationship of Irish history, politics, and culture.
Readership: Scholars and students of drama and theatre studies, contemporary Irish literature, and Irish cultural politics.
Marilynn J. Richtarik, Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of English, University of British Columbia
"`Marilynn Richtarik's book is a welcome and well-written study of the individuals and forces which gave life to the Field Day in its first five years.'
Times Literary Supplement"
"An extremely well-researched and readable account of the first four years of the company's existence" - The Irish Times
"A facinating critique of the attempt to create a 'fifth province' of the imagination where old tribal shibboleths could be dispensed with... Richtarik's book is an excellent read for those interested in placing language at the centre of their artistic and 'national' agenda." - Theatre Scotland.
"Her book is very much a traditional Ph.D. thesis, carefully attentive to reviews of Field day plays, precisely delimited in its thorough coverage of the years 1980-1984...It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the origins and early years of the Field Day project...Richtarik is very good at exposing some of the contradictions involved in the making of that anthology, and in the whole Field Day project." - Bulla'n Vol 2 no 1
"There is a brief but very concise, useful and necessary exposé of the political, social and economic circumstances that made Derry the focal point of the early troubles. She ... approaches the Field Day phenomenon with documentary zeal ... Her analyses of the plays are excellent both as dramatic creations in themselves and in the way they touch on issues that relate to the Field Day project. There is a particularly valuable examination of the different responses of audiences and critics watching a performance of Translations in Northern Ireland, the Republic and Britain." - Ulf Dantanus, Irish University Review, 26.1 (Spring/Summer 1996)