f Dublin lacks the obvious wealth of productions on Broadway and in Londonís West End, its handful of theaters regularly produce gems that earn international interest. Capital city to an all-star list of playwrights that includes George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats and Samuel Beckett, Dublin continues to develop important and inventive talents today.
A four-day visit over this summer revealed a small but energized theatrical community producing works that felt refreshingly different from the conventional instincts that seem to determine much of what ends up in New York and London. With a mix of leading Irish, American and British actors regularly on stage; award-winning international directors; and wildly affordable tickets, Dublin is a rich destination for theatergoing, with an intimate personality to match its snug playhouses.
I anchored my stay at two hotels, the Clarence and the Morrison, which face each other across the River Liffey and are as handsomely designed and modern as they are ideally located, each within striking distance of the major theaters. This brings me to another Dublin secret: anyone so inclined can usually see every major production on offer in a week. While Broadway comprises 40 theaters, and Londonís West End has roughly the same number, Dublin has five or so major theaters, most notably the Abbey, the Gate, the Gaiety, the Olympia and the Grand Canal; there are also a few small venues like the Project Arts Center that mirror the size and experimental thrust of Off and Off Off Broadway.
Making the theatergoing experience even more user-friendly, most of Dublinís theaters are within a mile or so of one another, and weather permitting, walking among them is a perfect way to explore and absorb the cityís literary roots
Beckett would be proud