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Field Day Theatre Company

Translations, An Open Letter, Civilians and Barbarians, The Whole Protestant Community

founded in Derry city by Brian Friel and Stephen Rea in 1980. Since staging Friel's play Translations (1980), Field Day has reassessed the borders of its initial identity as a theatre company and has become a broader intellectual project seeking possible cultural and political solutions to the problems of Northern Ireland. With the addition of Seamus Heaney, David Hammond, Tom Paulin, and Seamus Deane, the group inaugurated a series of pamphlets, including Heaney's An Open Letter (1983), Deane's Civilians and Barbarians (1983), and Terence Brown's The Whole Protestant Community (1985), which have sought to re-read Irish history in relation to the current crisis. Intellectuals at one or two removes from the immediate Irish scene, such as Fredric Jameson, Terry Eagleton, and Edward Said, have also contributed to this debate. More recently, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (1991) has completed a long-term project intended to establish a distinct, heterogeneous, and alternative tradition to that of English Literature.

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