Writing from the Margins: Re-framing Teresa Deevy’s Archive and her Correspondence with James Cheasty c.1952-1962

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Abstract

This essay explores a unique set of documents, comprising letters and postcards, sent by Teresa Deevy to her friend and fellow Waterford playwright, James Cheasty. To date, Deevy’s correspondence has not been considered separately from her dramatic texts, nor has Cheasty’s work received scholarly attention. Taking a feminist theatre historiographic approach, the essay theorizes the challenges of working with women’s archives, Deevy’s in particular, and conceptualizes the Deevy-Cheasty correspondence as high status research documents that raise Deevy’s archival profile. The thematic analysis of the material focuses on Deevy‘s role as Cheasty’s mentor and illuminates her engagement with Irish theatre practice of the 1950s and 60s. The essay reveals previously unknown aspects of her personal and professional life and contributes new insights relevant to scholars, practitioners, archivists, and students that redirect prevailing narratives concerning Deevy’s ambitions as a playwright and her involvement with Irish theatre practice post 1940.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
JournalIrish University Review
Volume51
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2022

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