Award-winning Irish dramatist and founder of the Field Day Theatre Company Brian Friel passed away on October 2, 2015. Friel was praised as the Irish Chekhov and often compared to American playwrights Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. His work is known for its explorations of language, family, social and cultural identity, and memory.
Among his best known plays are Translations, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Philadelphia, Here I Come! Friel also wrote short stories and fiction in the tradition of Irish storytelling.
Friel and actor Stephen Rea established Field Day in Derry in 1980, responding to the widespread violence and political unrest that had plagued Northern Ireland since the late 1960s (known as The Troubles).
In addition to many editions of Friel’s published works, Special Collections holds several letters written by Friel.
Dancing at Lughnasa and Philadelphia, Here I Come! were both made into films (copies of which you can check out in Film & Video).
Friel’s papers are held at The National Library of Ireland.
Check out the Irish Times on Brian Friel.