Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 July 2021
W. B. Yeats began writing about the theatre in the mid-1890s, after a trip to Paris where he first saw French symbolist theatre. From the time that the Irish Literary Theatre (later the Abbey) began producing his plays in the early 1900s, Yeats was regularly, and vigorously writing about theatre, with key essays appearing in the little magazines Samhain and Beltaine. From about 1910 onwards, his writing about theatre becomes more meditative, more concerned with his occult interests, and for a period focused on his interest in Japanese Nō theatre. Collectively, Yeats’s fugitive writings for the theatre constitutes an organum for the theatre, which is consistent across more than forty years, and which stands among the most significant contributions to modernist reconceptualisations of theatre.