"Translations" Talk-back

On Saturday, December 8, the dramaturgy program of the Department of Theatre Arts, in conjunction with Translations, will present a talkback entitled "Ithaca and Ireland: The Loss of Cultural History Through Military and Political Suppression."

Following the 2 pm matinee performance, beginning approximately at 4:30, Professor Claire Gleitman, chair of the English department, and Professor Brooke Hansen, chair of the Anthropology department, will speak on the history of the Irish and Cayuga peoples. This also an opportunity for the audience to ask the dramaturg questions about the production and discuss the play.

Playwright Brian Friel grew up in Northern Ireland during the first half of the twentieth century, soon after the split from the Republic of Ireland. Yet his historical drama Translations transports audiences back to 1833 to the fictional town of Baile Beag, just years before the potato famine and British politics changed the nation forever.

The history of the Irish is not too different from that of the Cayuga people, the native people of our area. The Cayuga left the region when General Washington ordered their villages to be attacked and burnt down during the American Revolution. Now, they are beginning to return to Ithaca and surrounding towns, trying to connect their ancestors' stories to places in distant memory, just as the Irish continue their struggle today to hold onto their cultural heritage.

A limited number of tickets to Translations are available by calling 607-274-3224 or visiting the Dillingham ticket office or

If you have any questions or require special accomodations, please contact the dramaturg, Lucy Walker, at


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