Performing Irish-American Heritage: The Irish Historic Pageant, 1913

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In 1913 ‘”An Dhord Fhiann”: an Irish Historic Pageant’ was performed in the Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory in New York City by a cast of five hundred, under the auspices of the Gaelic League. It depicted two epochs from Irish history; ‘The Proclaiming of Finn’ and the sixth century ‘Convention of Dromceatt’. The Irish Historic Pageant was part of the new pageantry that emerged simultaneously in Britain and America at the start of the twentieth century. Pageants were dramas in which the place is the hero and its history is the plot, performed by huge casts of amateurs of all classes in the open air. The pageant’s American writer, Anna Throop Craig, a passionate defender of Irish culture, together with its director John P. Campbell, an artist and a prominent member of the Celtic Revival in Belfast, visualised Irish heritage to show not only the resilience of Irish culture in the face of upheaval and oppression, but also its superiority. Thus the pageant was intended to educate and induce national pride for Ireland’s heritage in its Irish-American audience. This remembering of the past stood in stark contrast with the notorious annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that performed Ireland’s heritage in New York.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Ireland's Heritages
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Memory and Identity
EditorsMark McCarthy
Place of PublicationAldershot
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780754640127
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameHeritage, Culture and Identity


  • Ireland
  • Irish history
  • Pageantry
  • Pageants
  • Irish-American history
  • Gaelic League
  • Celtic Revival


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