The Abbey Theatre is Ireland’s National Theatre. It was founded by Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory in 1904 and has played a vital and often controversial role in the literary, social and cultural life of Ireland. Renowned as a writer’s theatre it has contributed some of the world’s greatest theatrical works from such writers as J M Synge and Sean O’Casey through to modern day classics from Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Hugh Leonard, Tom Mac Intyre and Sebastian Barry. In the Abbey's 2009 season you can enjoy classic drama by Sam Shepard, Tom Mac Intyre, Marina Carr and William Shakespeare. As an icon of world theatre, the Abbey Theatre welcomes many overseas visitors every year.