At the Northeast Modern Language Association's 2011 conference, I convened a panel titled "Facing In Yer Face Drama." I was interested in what had happened to In Yer Face in the 21st century to change opinions towards it. In 1999 and 2000, when the movement had essentially ended, a overview of In Yer Face would have gone something like this: loathed by audiences, condemned by critics, ignored entirely by commercial producers, In Yer Face seemed destined to become a forgotten blip in British Theater History. Just ten years later, McDonagh (the heir apparent to Kane and Ravenill's work) was the biggest playwright in NY and London, and regional theaters throughout the states are slating new productions of Kane, Ravenhill, and Butterworth (this trend continued well after our panel with Soho Rep's high-profile Blasted, The Royal Court's Kane retrospective, and The National's recent Cleansed). Why? What Happened?
Photo Credit: Rick Hammerly