I saw the Druid Theater's Synge cycle 4 years ago. John Millington Synge is interesting in that he is considered a major playwright by many, based on his writing only six plays. "Riders to the Sea" is bleak. It doesn't really hold together for me. I found the internal mechanism of time broken in the play when I saw it, and again when I read it today.
Here's my problem with it: Bartley rides off on the red mare. Bartley is killed when thrown from the horse into the sea. Within a couple minutes Bartley's body is brought to his mother's house. It's one thing to ask audiences to suspend disbelief. It's quite another to ask audiences to suspend the reality of time, especially in so brief a piece as this one act is. That all this happens on the same day Bartley's brother's clothing, stripped from his (Michael -- who never appears in the play) sea-ravaged body.
Anyway, the play doesn't work for me.
Plays read so far from "Chief Contemporary Dramtists" (Cambridge, Mass 1915):
"The Rising of the Moon" by Lady Gregory
"Lady Windemere's Fan" by Oscar Wilde
"The Hourglass" by William Butler Yeats
"Riders to the Sea" J. M. Synge
-- Uke Jackson