The Abbey Theater movement was begun by Yeats, Lady Gregory and Sir Synge. They defined the reason for the Abbey Theater as having a “manifesto to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland.” It had been created, and still attempts, to promote the politics and issues for debate within the Irish nation.
The movement has the goal of presenting its audience with the audience. The plays produced by the Abbey Theater movement contain topics of politics, culture and social issues. Not only does it have a theater with two different size stages, but it also contains a Department to develop new writers and artists for the promotion of Irish Theater.
"The Irish Literary Theatre will attempt to do in Dublin something of what has been done in London and Paris; and if it has even a small welcome it will produce, somewhere about the old festival of Beltaine at the beginning of every spring, a play founded upon an Irish subject. The plays will differ from those produced by associations of men of letters in London and in Paris because times have changed, and because the intellect of Ireland is romantic and spiritual, rather than scientific and analytical, but they will have as little of a commercial ambition."
The Abbey Theatre Literary Movement refers to the role of theatre in the struggle of independence for Ireland from England. After a series of bitter risings and rebellions, a messy partition was arrived at by way of compromise. The southern counties set up a Free State and then had to decide how to run it in terms of education, health, government arts etc. A debate raged as to whether states should support/sponsor theatres. In the meantime Yeats and Augusta Gregory set up the Abbey Theatre and mentored the works of Synge and O'Casey nd others. Some of the works proved controversial though and many wondered if the new angry young men the Irish Literary Theatre had overstepped the mark and upset church and state with their brutal honesty or cynicism.