Dublin’s Abbey Theatre program, Waking the Nation, begun in 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising featured only 1 of 10 plays written by a woman, and 3 of 10 directed by women. This can be viewed as a remarkable paradox in retrospect partly given the now-documented role of women in the 1916 Rising and in the history of the Abbey Theatre founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1904.
The Ferryman is set on the 50-acre Irish family farm of Quinn Carney, and tells the story of an extended family celebrating the annual harvest in 1981 (an important year in Ireland’s contemporary history). It is an epic story of love, family and betrayal, exploring the intersection of the politics of the day with the private life of one family on a farm.