Marina Carr is a singular voice in world theater. The author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed plays, she came to international attention with The Mai (1994), the ﬁrst in a trilogy of plays inspired by the works of Euripides and Sophocles. Like its successors Portia Coughlin (1996) and By the Bog of Cats (1998), The Mai doesn’t so much adapt as reinvent its source material, ﬁnding an ancient darkness in the hills and valleys of contemporary rural Ireland. Carr’s persistent focus in both the “Midland Trilogy” and her other work is female experience in its most mythic and paradoxical aspects: the power and vulnerability it embodies, the desire and disgust it provokes. In Ariel (2002), a sixteen-year-old girl suﬀers violence at the hands of her father, a religious fanatic; in Woman and Scarecrow (2008), a dying woman—mother to eight children and wife to an unfaithful husband—considers her failed struggles to gain agency in her own life. Hecuba, which premiered at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in September 2015, continues to explore the cultural and political marginalization of women. While dark and often disturbing, Hecuba is also ﬁercely compassionate, revealing what the playwright describes as her own “love for people, for the human condition—the fragility of it.” Carr, who teaches at Dublin City University, is the winner of a Puterbaugh Fellowship (2012), the E. M. Forster Award (2001), and a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (1997), among many other honors.
I am so honored to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. Lady Luck is shining on me today.