Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Theatre Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Jay Ball

Second Committee Member

Michael Smith

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jason Knirck

Abstract

The dynamics of power between the privileged and those who must be subordinate to them was glaringly apparent at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. While natives from many countries were displayed in ethnographic villages, the Irish were represented in the Irish Industrial Exposition concession on the Pike. A group of ninety performers came from Ireland to show their skills this concession; among these were a troupe of actors from Dublin. The Dublin troupe was engaged to perform AE’s Deirdre, but left before they had been at the exposition for a month because they felt that the Irish were not being well represented in the Irish Industrial Exposition. The performances given in this exhibit expounded on a view of the Irish that both challenged and conformed to prominent stereotypes of the time. By employing James C. Scott’s Domination and the Arts of Resistance, I reveal the complex and multifaceted power dynamics involved in the performances at the Irish Industrial Exposition.

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