Section 4: Arrested in Philadelphia
Lady Gregory took a firm stand against censorship in 1907 when J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World caused riots at the Abbey, as nationalists deemed the play defamatory to Ireland. Although she personally disliked the play, she and Yeats defiantly insisted that the Theatre would always uphold artistic freedom. Two years later, in promoting Shaw's controversial play The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet, she and Yeats would again triumphantly thwart attempted censorship. In four visits to the U.S. between 1911 and 1916, she defied efforts to stop Synge's play being performed. When the cast was arrested in Philadelphia, they were defended by John Quinn, with whom Gregory had a brief love affair. She also discovered a new faculty, undertaking grueling cross-country tours as a paid lecturer. In Our Irish Theatre, she published a history of the emergence of the Irish theater movement, with her own and Yeats's participation highlighted as central.