February 11, 1926

A riot erupted at the Abbey Theater during the fourth performance of Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars on February 11, 1926. O’Casey, an Irish dramatist best known for his Dublin Trilogy which featured The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924) and The Plough and the Stars (1926). The Plough and the Stars was considered a racy, contentious show by many.  According to witnesses, the riot began after the appearance of a prostitute in Act II. After the riot, W.B. Yeats famously said, “You have disgraced yourself again; is this to be the recurring celebration of the arrival of Irish genius?” Irish-American filmmaker John Ford later directed an adaptation of The Plough and the Stars in 1936.

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