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Lennox Robinson’s IS LIFE WORTH LIVING? (aka DRAMA AT INISH) is a gloriously goofy comedy that imagines the impact a steady diet of serious drama might have on the amiable residents of a seaside town in Ireland. In 2009 the play was delivered to New York audiences for the first time in 75 years.
Robinson began to write poetry in his teens, vaguely dreaming of a career as a poet or musician. In 1907, when he was 20, he saw a touring production of the Abbey Theater. The performance changed his life. He was promptly inspired to write his first play, The Clancy Name, a realistic drama about a patrician Irish family willing to destroy itself so its good name can be preserved. The play was produced at the Abbey in 1908 and caught the attention of W.B. Yeats, who promptly hired Robinson, despite his youth and lack of experience, as the theater manager. Yeats felt that running a theater was the best education Robinson could have as a playwright.
In 2003, New York audiences were introduced to D. H. Lawrence—the playwright—with a highly acclaimed production of THE DAUGHTER IN LAW. Five years later, Mint Theater returned to the same literary well with a production of Lawrence’s searing 1910 drama, THE WIDOWING OF MRS. HOLROYD
D.H. Lawrence was born in 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. He is best known as the author of Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and the notorious Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), which was considered to be obscene and was widely banned; Chatterley was not officially legal in England until 1960.
Lawrence is the author of eight full-length plays, none of which he ever saw onstage in his lifetime (including The Daughter-In-Law, produced by The Mint in 2003). Though it seems that he never shook off the black mark of rabid literary censorship, his works remain to this day celebrated studies of human passion and desperation. At the time of his death, much of the public regarded him as a pornographer rather than a literary genius; yet in Lawrence’s obituary notice, E.M. Forster cited him as “the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”
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