(Michael Feingold’s article appeared in the Village Voice, 8/25.)
Irish, female, and hearing-impaired from the age of 20 (Ménière's disease), the playwright Teresa Deevy (1894–1963) has everything that could lure a theater into an act of literary rediscovery. What nonprofit institution wouldn't want the glory of reclaiming from oblivion a gender-oppressed, disabled artist born into a minority nation struggling for its independence? For a bonus, even the nationalist theater that nurtured Deevy ultimately turned against her: By the time she completed Wife to James Whelan in 1942, the Abbey Theatre, which had had some success with her earlier plays, was in new, conservative hands; it turned the play down. No further work of hers was produced there.
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