The Seán O'Casey appreciation site.

        The following table is a chronology of the life of  Seán O'Casey.



 
1880   On the 30th of March, he is born at 85 Upper Dorset Street Dublin, to Michael and Susan Casey. On the 28th of July, he is baptized John Casey at St. Mary's Church, Church Of Ireland. 
1886  6th September, father Michael dies age forty-nine. O'Casey gives us a vivid description  of the funeral
in the first of his Autobiographies, I Knock At The Door
1895  Acts the role of Father Dolan, the patriotic priest in Dion Boucicault's "The Shaughraun" at the old Mechanics Theatre in Abbey Street, which nine years later is rebuilt as the Abbey Theatre. 
1900  Teaches Sunday school at St Barnabas Church, North Wall, Dublin. 
1903  Works as a labourer on the Great Northern Railway of Ireland.
1906  Learns the Irish language, joins the Drumcondra Branch of the Gaelic League, and changes his name to it's Irish translation, Seán O'Cathasaigh.
1907  Joins the St Laurence O'Toole Club and writes his first stories and articles for the Club's manuscript Journal,
which was read at meetings. 25th May, first publication, an article, "Sound the Loud Trumpet" in The Peasant and Irish Ireland. 
1910  Founder-member and Secretary of the St Laurence O'Toole Pipers' Band.
1911  Joins Jim Larkin's Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
1913  Secretary of the Wolfe Tone Memorial Committee; secretary of the Women and Children's Relief  Fund during the 1913 lock-out. 
1914  6th February, Brother Tom Casey dies at age forty-four. In March, becomes secretary of the Irish Citizen Army.
He later resigns, after falling out with James Connolly over the use of uniforms.
1916  Disillusioned with the Citizen Army because of their alliance with the bourgeois Irish Volunteers, he takes no part in the Easter Rising of this year. A detailed account of those years can be found in his third Autobiographical Book  Drums Under The Windows
1917  25th November, acts in the St Laurence O'Toole Dramatic Club's production of Thomas K. Moylan's "naboclish"
at the Empire Theatre, now the Olympia.
1918  1st January, sister Isabella Casey Beaver dies at age Fifty-two. Publications under the name Seán O'Cathasaigh:
The Story Of Thomas Ashe; The Sacrifice Of Thomas Ashe; Songs Of  The Wren No.1; Songs Of The Wren No.2; More Wren Songs. 9th of November, mother Susan dies at age eighty-one. O'Casey dedicates a chapter of his Autobiography  Innishfallen fare thee well  to this traumatic experience for him.
1919  Publication of "The Story Of The Irish Citizen Army". This subsequently helps him to pay the bill incurred for burying his Mother.
1920  Abbey Theatre rejects his first two plays, The Harvest Festival and The Frost In The Flower.
1922  15 April, Abbey Theatre rejects The Seamless Coat Of Kathleen. 28th September, Abbey rejects The Crimson In The Tri-colour. 17th November, Abbey accepts The Shadow of a  Gunman.
1923  12 April,The Shadow Of A Gunman opens at the Abbey.  1st October, Cathleen Listens In opens at the Abbey.
1924  3rd March,Juno and the Paycock opens at the Abbey. 7th June, his first visit to Lady Gregory's home at Coole  Park, Galway. 29th September Nannie's Night Out opens at the Abbey.
1926  8 February, The Plough and the Stars opens at the Abbey. 10 February, riots in the Abbey against the Plough.
Objections are to the scene featuring a prostitute, and to the displaying of a Tricolour in a Public House. 23rd March, goes to London to receive the Hawthornden prize of £100 for Juno and the Paycock. In May he has his portrait painted by Augustus John. It is also in this year that O'Casey left Ireland for good.
1927  23 September, marries Eileen Reynolds Carey in the Roman Catholic Church of All Souls and the Redeemer, Chelsea. 
1928  January, moves to 19 Woronzow Road, St John's Wood. 20th April, Abbey rejects The Silver Tassie. 30th April,
birth of his son Breon. 
1929  11th October,The Silver Tassie opens in London at the Apollo Theatre. 
1930  22nd September, film of  Juno and the Paycock, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is released. 10th November, film of Juno and the Paycock is burned in the streets of Limerick.
1931  October, moves to Hillcrest, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks. In November he writes his first autobiographical sketch, "A Child Is Born", which later becomes the opening chapter of  I Knock at the Door.
1932  July, writes A Pound on Demand, a one-act play.
1933  May, his short story, "I Wanna Woman" is censored by the printer of  Time and Tide.
1934  7th February, Within the Gates opens in London at the Royalty Theatre. 13th September, leaves Southampton on the Majestic and arrives in New York on 19th September for the American premier of  Within the Gates. October, publication of Windfalls, a collection of early poems, four short stories, and two one-act plays. 22nd October, Within the Gates opens in New York at the National Theatre. 16th November, gives the Morris Gray Poetry Talk at Harvard University on "The Old Drama and the New". 4th December, Windfalls is banned by the Irish Censorship of Publications Board. 12th December, leaves New York on the Britannic and arrives in Liverpool on 23 December.
1935  15th January, birth of his son Niall. 15th January, Within the Gates is banned by the Mayor of Boston, forcing the cancellation of a scheduled tour of thirteen cities. 12th August, The Silver Tassie opens at the Abbey Theatre. September, returns to Dublin for the last time on a two-week visit, and meets Yeats on friendly terms.
1936  February, gives a talk "The Holy Ghost Leaves England" to the Shirley Society of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge. An account of this lecture is given in his last Autobiography Sunset and Evening Star
1937  8th February,The End of the Beginning, a one-act play, opens at the Abbey Theatre. March, publication of The
Flying Wasp, a collection of essays, articles, and reviews. 15th March, film of  The Plough and the Stars directed by John Ford, is released.
1938  September, moves to Tingrith, Totnes Devon.
1939  March, publication of  I Knock At The Door  first volume of Autobiography. 16th MayI Knock at the Door is banned by the Irish Censorship of Publications Board. 28th September, birth of his daughter Shivaun.
1940  12th  March,The Star Turns Red opens in London at the Unity Theatre. 10th June, becomes a member of the new Advisory Board of the London Daily Worker. 
1942  March, publication of  Pictures in the Hallway , second volume of the Autobiography. 16th December, Pictures in the Hallway is banned by the Irish Censorship of Publications Board.
1943 15th March, Red Roses For Me opens in Dublin at the Olympia Theatre, directed by Shelah Richards. 
1945 17th January, turns down an offer of up to $100,000 to write the scenario for a Hollywood film of  Thomas Wolfe's
Look Homeward, Angel. October, publication of  Drums Under The Windows  third volume of the Autobiography.
31st. October, Purple Dust opens in Liverpool at the playhouse, performed by the Liverpool Old Vic company.
1946 26th February Red Roses For Me opens in London at the Embassy Theatre, presented by Bronson Albery. 
1947 11th January, his brother Michael Casey dies in Dublin at the age of  eighty one. 30th January, his friend Jim Larkin,
the Irish Labour leader, dies in Dublin at age 69. 13th May, Oak Leaves and Lavender opens at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, presented by Bronson Albery.  16th December, Irish Censorship of Publications Board removes the ban against I Knock At The Door  and  Pictures in the Hallway
1949 January, publication of  Innishfallen fare thee well , fourth volume of the autobiography. 10th December, Cock A Doodle Dandy opens in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, produced by the people's Theatre.
1950 30th January, Cock A Doodle Dandy opens in Dallas, Texas, at the Arena Theatre, directed by Margo Jones, it is the American premiere.
1951 25th April, Red Roses For Me opens in Houston, Texas, at the Playhouse. Directed by John O'Shaughnessy, it is the American premiere. 18th July, The Abbey Theatre in Dublin is heavily damaged by fire after a performance of a revival of 
The Plough and the Stars.
1952 July, publication of  Rose and Crown , fifth volume of autobiography.
1953 20th June, The Silver Tassie is performed in Berlin in a German translation by Elizabeth Freundlich, directed by Fritz Kortner, accompanied by a riot in the Theatre, partly an attacl against O'Casey and his play, partly an anti-semitic attack against Kortners return to the Berlin theatre. 
1954 9th June, moves to 3 Villa Rosa Flats, 40 Trumlands Road, St. Marychurch, Torquay, Devon. July, publication of 
Sunset and Evening Star , sixth and last volume of autobiography.
1955 22nd February, The Bishops Bonfire opens in Dublin at the Gaiety Theatre, presented by and starring Cyril Cusack,  directed by Tyrone Guthrie. 28th December Red Roses for me opens in New York at the Booth Theatre, presented by Gordon W.Pollock, directed by John O'Shaughnessy.
1956  February, Undergoes a prostate operation at Torbay Hospital. March, Publication of The Green Crow, a collection of essays. October, publication of Mirror in My House, the two-volume edition of the Autobiography. 27th December, Purple Dust opens in New York at the off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, directed by Philip Burton, and runs for just over a year, the longest run ever for an O'Casey play. 29th December, His son Niall dies of leukaemia at age 21.
1957 3rd January, Niall O'Casey's ashes are dispersed in the Garden of Rememberance at the Golders Green Crematorium, London. February, copies of the British edition of The Green Crow sent to Ireland are seized without explanation by the Irish Free State customs office, resulting in an unofficial ban of the book for a year.. May, publication in Moscow of Russian translations of The Shadow of a  Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, I Knock At The Door  and 
Pictures in the Hallway   September, publication of  The Bishops Bonfire  in a Russian translation in Zvezda (Star), Leningrad, organ of the Union of Soviet Writers. 10th October, the Dublin Tostal Council accepts The Drums of Father Ned for production at the International Theatre Festival in 1958. 
1958 January, the Archbishop of Dublin disapproves of a plan to present The Drums of Father Ned and a dramatization
of James Joyce's Ulysses at the Theatre Festival. February,  the Archbishop's attitude leads indirectly to the censorship of  O'Casey, Joyce and Beckett, whose works are withdrawn from the Tostal Theatre Festival. July, as an aftermath of the indirect banning of The Drums of Father Ned, he decides to ban all professional productions of his plays in Ireland, a ban he maintains untill 1964. 12th November, Cock A Doodle Dandy opens in New York at the off-Broadway Carnegie Hall Playhouse, directed by Philip Burton. 20th November, The Shadow of a  Gunman opens in New York at the Bijou Theatre, presented by the Actors' studio, directed by Jack Garfein.
1959 January, he appears in a reunion scene with Barry Fitzgerald in the documentary film, "Salute to the Abbey Theatre:
Cradle of Genius", directed by Paul Rotha. 9th March, Juno, a musical based on Juno and the Paycock, book by Joseph Stein, music and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, staged by Jose Ferrer, opens in New York at the Winter Garden Theatre. 25th April, The Drums of Father Ned opens in Lafayette, Indiana, the world premiére presented by the Lafayette Little Theatre, directed by Jeanne Orr and Robert Hogan. 7th September, Cock A Doodle Dandy opens at the Edinburgh Festival, for its first professional production in Britain, directed by George Devine, prior to its opening in London at the Royal Court Theatre
on 17th September.
1960 30th of March, on his 80th birthday a group of 18 writers and Theatre people in Dublin send him a silver tankard or "tassie" of appreciation; and Samuel Beckett in Paris sends the following message: "To my great compatriot Seán O'Casey, from France, where he is honoured, I send my enduring gratitude and homage." 
1961 29th January, Seán O'Casey pipe night is celebrated at the players club in New York. 4th February, he refuses to accept an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Trinity College Dublin. June, publication of  Behind the Green Curtains, Figuro in the night, and The Moon Shines on Kylenamoe. 26th July, The Bishops Bonfire opens in London at the Mermaid Theatre, presented by Bernard Miles, directed by Frank Dunlop.
1962 16th August, Purple Dust opens in London at the Mermaid Theatre's O'Casey Festival, presented by Bernard Miles, directed by Peter Duguid. 5th September, Red Roses For Me opens in London at the Mermaid Theatre's O'Casey Festival, directed by Julius Gellner. 26th September, The Plough and the Stars  opens in London at the Mermaid Theatre's O'Casey Festival, directed by Joss Ackland. 30th October, a double bill of Figuro in the night, and The Moon Shines on Kylenamoe opens in New York at the off-Broadway Theatre de Lys, presented by ANTA matinee theatre, directed by John O'Shaughnessy.  November, Publication of Feathers From the Green Crow: Seán O'Casey, 1905-1925, a collection of O'Casey's early articles, pamphlets, stories, poems, and plays, edited by Robert Hogan. 4th November, The Moon Shines on Kylenamoe is performed on Irish television, directed by Shelah Richards.
1963 March, publication of  Under a Coloured Cap, "Articles merry and mournful with comments and a song". 27th March, The Theatre section of the Union of Soviet Writers in Moscow pays a special tribute to O'Casey on international Theatre Day. July, The Lord Chamberlain bans a performance of Figuro in the night  at a Festival of Irish comedy in London.
1964 January, he lifts his seven-year ban on professional productions of his plays in Ireland so that the Abbey Theatre can prepare for the presentation of his works in London at the World Theatre Festival in honour of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.  20th April, the Abbey Theatre's production of Juno and the Paycock is presented in London at the World Theatre Festival. 27th April, the Abbey Theatre's production of The Plough and the Stars  is presented in London at the World Theatre Festival. August, suffers a heart attack and spends two weeks in Torbay Clinic. 18th September, Séan O'Casey dies of a second heart attack at the Torbay Clinic. 22th September, his body is cremated in Torquay. 3rd October,
his ashes are dispersed in the Garden of Remembrance at the Golders Green Crematorium, London, in an area between the Shelley and Tennyson rose beds.

 









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