1929 Brian Friel born on January 9th in Killyclogher, County Tyrone, to Sean Friel, a primary-school principal, and Mary McLoone, a postmistress.
1939 Friel and his family move to Derry, his father’s home city.
1948 Friel graduates from St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth with a BA.
1952 Friel Publishes his first short story, The Child, in the Irish literary magazine The Bell.
1954 Friel marries Anne Morrison. They will go on to have four daughters and a son.
1958-1959 His first radio play, A Sort of Freedom, is produced by BBC Radio Northern Ireland, followed shortly by his second, To This Hard House. The New Yorker magazine publishes his story The Skelper.
1960 His first stage play, The Francophile, later retitled A Doubtful Paradise, is premiered by the Group Theatre in Belfast. The same year, with a contract from The New Yorker, he leaves teaching to write full time.
1962 His play The Enemy Within premieres in the Abbey Theatre. His first short-story collection, A Saucer of Larks, is published. He begins writing a weekly column in the Irish Press.
1963 The Blind Mice premieres in Dublin at the Eblana Theatre. At the invitation of Tyrone Guthrie, Friel spends time as “an observer” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
1964 Philadelphia, Here I Come! premieres at the Gaiety during Dublin Theatre Festival, produced by the Gate Theatre.
1966 Philadelphia, Here I Come! transfers to the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway and runs for nine months. At the same theater, The Loves of Cass McGuire premieres – and closes after 20 performances. Friel publishes a second short-story collection, The Gold in the Sea.
1967 The Loves of Cass McGuire premieres at the Abbey Theatre, Philadelphia, Here I Come! opens in London, and Lovers is staged at the Gate Theatre.
1969 The Mundy Scheme premieres at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin; its New York run at the Royale Theatre closes after two performances.
1971 The Gentle Island premieres at the Olympia Theatre.
1972 Friel marches with members of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in Derry to protest against internment without trial. During the march, British soldiers open fire in the Bogside area, killing at least 13 civilians and injuring others, in an event which would become known as Bloody Sunday.
1973 The Freedom of the City opens at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, informed by Bloody Sunday and the exoneration of British authorities by the Widger tribunal. The play also premieres at the Royal Court in London, where Friel first meets actor Stephen Rea.
1975-1979 Volunteers (1975), Living Quarters (1977), and Aristocrats (1979) open at the Abbey Theatre.
1980 Friel and Stephen Rea found Field Day Theatre Company, with Translations as the company’s first production in the Guildhall in Derry. Faith Healer has its Irish premiere at the Abbey Theatre, following a 20-day run on Broadway theprevious year.
1981 Faith Healer premieres at the Royal Court; Translations opens in New York and London. Friel’s translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters premieres in Derry for Field Day followed by a tour.
1982 Premiere of The Communication Cord in Derry before touring. Friel is elected a member of Aosdána, an Irish association of established artists.
1987 Friel is appointed to the Irish Senate, Seanad Éireann, where he serves until 1989. His adaptation of Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons premieres in London at the National Theatre.
1988 Making History premieres at the Guildhall in Derry as Friel’s final play for the company.
1990 Dancing at Lughnasa premieres at the Abbey Theatre then transfers to the National Theatre in London, winning the Olivier Award for Play of the Year. Irish Repertory Theatre produces a revival of Philadelphia, Here I Come!.
1991 Dancing at Lughnasa runs for more than a year at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway, and wins three Tony Awards, including the award for Best Play. The American premiere of Making History takes place at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
1992 Friel’s version of Charles Macklin’s The London Vertigo premieres at Andrew’s Lane Theatre in a production by the Gate. His version of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country premieres at the Gate.
1993-1997 Wonderful Tennessee (1993) premieres at the Abbey; its New York run at the Plymouth Theatre ends after nine shows. Friel resigns from Field Day in 1994 and his play Molly Sweeney premieres at the Gate Theater before transferring to the Almeida in London. Give Me Your Answer, Do! (1997) premieres at the Abbey Theatre.
1998 The film adaptation of Dancing at Lughnasa, with a screenplay by Frank McGuinness, is released. Friel’s version of Uncle Vanya premieres at the Gate Theatre.
1999 The Friel Festival takes place in Dublin, coinciding with Friel’s 70th birthday. Dancing at Lughnasa, The Freedom of the City, Living Quarters, and Making History are performed at the Abbey; Aristocrats is performed at the Gate; an RSC production of A Month in the Country is staged.
2001-2005 The National Library of Ireland archives Friel’s body of work. The Yalta Game (2001) premieres at the Gate. Two Plays After (2002), Performances (2003), and The Home Place (2005) premiere at the Gate Theatre. Irish Repertory Theatre presents a revival of Philadelphia, Here I Come!.
2006 Elected to the position of Saoi, Aosdána’s highest honor.
2007 Friel’s version of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler opens at the Gate Theatre.
2009 Aristocrats is produced at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
2011 Friel is named Donegal Person of the Year for 2010. Irish Repertory Theatre presents Dancing at Lughnasa and Molly Sweeney; the latter moves to Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven.
2012 Irish Repertory Theatre produces The Freedom of the City.
2015 Brian Friel dies on October 2nd.
2016 Afterplay has its New York premiere at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
2017 Irish Repertory Theatre presents the New York premiere of The Home Place.
2018 Two by Friel is staged at the Irish Repertory Theatre, featuring Lovers: Winners and The Yalta Game.
Historical Content by Sarah Moran