Da Topics for Further Study
by Hugh Leonard

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Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

  • Many of the flashbacks in Da take place during the World War II era. Learn more about World War II and the role of the United Kingdom in the war. Reference is also made to Winston Churchill the prime minister of Great Britain during World War II. Learn more about Churchill and his role in the war effort. Write a short story about what it might have been like as a teenager listening to Churchill on the radio, reporting the progression of the war as it neared the British shores.
  • Da is set in Ireland between the 1930s and the 1960s and makes reference to several key incidents in Irish history. Learn more about the history of Ireland, such as the Potato Famine of the 1840s, the role of Ireland in World War II, or the struggles of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the twentieth century. Write a short research paper on any one of these topics.
  • Many references are made throughout Da to Hollywood films and film stars during the classic film era. These movies and movie stars clearly made a significant impact on Leonard's childhood. Learn more about one of these stars and her or his key films and film roles. Pick one of the following, which are mentioned in the play: Tyrone Power, Gary Cooper, Gene Autry, Randolph Scott, Veronica Lake, Bette Davis, or Edward G. Robinson. Watch one of this actor's films and discuss its central themes.
  • Da is a memory play, meaning that the story line is structured around a series of memory scenes. Write your own memory scene based on a significant incident in your own life.
  • Plays are written to be performed. Pick a memory scene from Da to act out. How does performing this scene help to illuminate its meaning?