December 27, 1904

The Abbey Theatre opened on this day in 1904 with productions of Yeats’ “On Baile’s Strand” and “Cathleen ni Houlihan”, as well as Lady Gregory’s “Spreading the News.” Founded by Yeats, Gregory and Edward Martyn, the Abbey Theater first began as the Irish Literary Theater in 1899. They performed shows in different venues like the already established Gaiety Theater, but moved to the former Hibernia Theater of Varieties in 1904. After opening night, Yeats’ “Cathleen ni Houlihan” was replaced by John Milton Synge’s “In the Shadow of the Glen.”

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