NEWS, NOTES AND QUERIES
1. O'NEILL FILMOGRAPHY, PART I: RENTABLES.
In response to readers' requests, the editor has scoured all the catalogs he has been able to amass in search of 16 mm films of O'Neill plays that are currently available for purchase or for classroom rental. The results follow, but it is very likely that the list is far from complete. If readers will send in comparable information from sources available to them, a future issue will include an O'Neill Filmography, Part II. (I have no explanation fro the wild variety of listed running times for The Emperor Jones and The Long Voyage Home: evidently some rental agencies offer a shorter voyage than others!) Rental fees, which may well have risen since the catalogs' publication, are generally based on a single showing for which no admission price is charged. For current information about availability and prices, write to the agency involved. Those agencies, as abbreviated in the list, are the following:
AH, WILDERNESS! (1935, b/w, 101 mins), dir. Clarence Brown, w/Wallace Beery, Mickey Rooney, Lionel Barrymore, Aline MacMahon, Eric Linden and Cecilia Parker. FFE, n.p. (Omitted from 1980 catalog but possibly still available)
ANNA CHRISTIE (1923, b/w, silent, 75 minutes), dir. John Griffith Wray, w/ Blanche Sweet, William Russell and George F. Marion. MMA, $40 (lease: $400)
DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS (1958, b/w, 114 mins), dir. Daniel Mann, w/ Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Burl Ives and Frank Overton. ABF, $45
THE EMPEROR JONES (1933, b/w), dir. Dudley Murphy, w/ Paul
Robeson, Dudley Digges,
THE ICEMAN COMETH (1973,
color, 178 mins), dir. John Frankenheimer; screenwriter,
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1962, b/w, 136 mins), dir. Sidney Lumet, w/ Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, Dean Stockwell and Jeanne Barr.
THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (1940,
b/w), dir. John Ford; screenplay by Dudley Nichols
2. THE NEW YORKER STRIKES AGAIN. A previous issue of the Newsletter (January 1980, pp. 21-22) reprinted the capsule comments on O'Neill films that had appeared in October, 1979 issues of The New Yorker. One film omitted from that autumnal blitz, Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962), has received similar love-hate treatment in a more recent issue (July 14, 1980, p. 18):
3. RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
Ahrends, Gunter, Traumwelt und Wirklichkeit im Spätwerk Eugene O'Neills. Heidelberg: Winter 1978. 286 pp.
Bauzyte, Galina. "Eschilas ir Judzino O'Nylo dramaturgija." Literatura (Vilnius), 20 iii (1978), 36-39.
Bernstein, Samuel. The Strands Entwined: A New Direction in American Drama. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1980. 164 pp. $17.95. (In a study that focuses, after a general overview of American drama, on five contemporary plays--one each by Rabe, Guare, Bullins, Albee and Robert Anderson--the author delineates the titular strands as "the traditional American realistic-naturalistic style of O'Neill and Miller, and the European Absurdist movement, typified by Beckett, Ionesco and Pinter." The resultant fusion of "the careful construction and vivid detail of the former and the flexibility and psychological depth of the latter" has resulted, he demonstrates, in "a viable new dramatic form.")
Burns, Morris U. The Dramatic Criticism of Alexander Woolcott. Metuchen, NJ; The Scarecrow Press, 1980. 292 pp. $15.00. (A review of the coverage of Woolcott's O'Neill criticism, most of which occurs on pp. 85-92, will appear in the next issue of the Newsletter.)
Dee, James H. "Orestes and Electra in the Twentieth Century." Classical Bulletin, 55 (1979), 81-87.
Egri, Peter. "Csehov es O'Neill (Eugene O'Neill: Utazas az ejszakaba)." Filologiai Kozlony, 24 (1978), 231-235.
Fluckiger, Stephen L. "The Idea of Puritanism in the Plays of Eugene O'Neill." Renascence, 30 (1978), 152-162.
Gatta, John, Jr. "The American Subject: Moral History as Tragedy in the Plays of Eugene O'Neill." Essays in Literature (Macomb, IL), 6, 227-239.
Juhl, Peter. "Eugene O'Neills The Hairy Ape: Bemerkungen zu Sinn und Struktur des Dramas." In Theater und Drama in Amerika: Aspekte und Interpretationen, ed. Edgar Lohner and Rudolf Haas. Berlin: Schmidt, 1978. Pp. 235-253.
Lemanis, Mara. "Desire Under the Elms and Tragic Form: A Study of Misalliance." South Dakota Review, 16 iii (1978), 46-55.
Melchinger, Siegfried. "Die Yankee-Electra: O'Neill und Aischylos--Vergleichende Bemerkungen." In Lohner and Haas, eds., Theater . . ., pp. 254-262. (See Juhl entry for full information.)
Myers, Andrew B. "'Hysteria Night in the Sophomore Dormitory': Eugene O'Neill's Days Without End." Columbia Library Columns, 28 ii (1979), 3-13.
O'Neill, Eugene. "Two Letters by Eugene O'Neill," ed. William J. Scheick. Resources for American Literary Study, 7 (1978), 73-80. (The letters are related to Marco Millions and Ah, Wilderness!)
Prasad, Hari Mohan. "The Tragic Mode: A Study in Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon, The Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape." Osmania Journal of English Studies, 15, 21-30.
Sabinson, Harvey. "A Coronet for O'Neill." Theatregoers' Guide (advertising supplement to the New York Times, Sept. 7, 1980), pp. 12-17. (An excerpt from Mr. Sabinson's book, Darling, You Were Wonderful, in which the 1959 efforts to rename New York's Coronet Theatre for Eugene O'Neill are recounted with a number of memorable insights about the playwright, his widow, and their marital relations. See the report in the "Reviews and Abstracts" section of this issue.)
4. SCHOLARLY WORKS IN PROGRESS.
[These descriptions of their work by O'Neill scholars are reprinted from the October 1980 issue of Theatre Journal. All expect to complete their work this year except Matlaw, who has not yet projected a completion date. --Ed.]
Collins, Robert H. American Realism and the Broadway Stage: A Study in Dramatic Form from O'Neill to Shepard. "American Realism is essentially domestic, psychological and emotional rather than intellectual drama. It flowered in the late plays of O'Neill and the early plays of Williams. By separate routes these two playwrights developed a fuller, more emotionally powered form of realism for the American stage. More contemporary playwrights like David Mamet and Sam Shepard have often abandoned this form of realism in favor of experimentation, but their finest and most mature work hearkens back to the roots found in O'Neill and Williams."
Manheim, Michael. Eugene O'Neill's New Language of Kinship. "O'Neill's final plays--The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey and Moon for the Misbegotten--are usually considered his most autobiographical works. This book seeks to show that suppressed autobiography is more importantly the basis of O'Neill's earlier plays, whereas his last, and greatest, works triumph over autobiography in becoming genuinely universal visions of the human condition."
Matlaw, Myron. Study of the Life and Career of James O'Neill.
Robinson, James A. Eugene O'Neill and Oriental Thought. "Considers the impact of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism on O'Neill's religious drama (e.g., The Fountain, The Great God Brown, Lazarus Laughed) and his two late tragedies (The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey Into Night). The thesis is that O'Neill, who was familiar with the above systems of philosophy and with Western thinkers influenced by them (Emerson, Schopenhauer, Jung, etc.), combined elements of Western and Eastern approaches to reality. This approach focuses on ten plays (starting with The Moon of the Caribbees and ending with Journey), after an initial discussion of O'Neill's sources and his responses to them."
5. Dissertations on O'Neill reported in Dissertation Abstracts International.
a. Jensen, George H. "The Eugene O'Neill-Theatre Guild Correspondence" (40: 853A).
b. Roland, Laurin Kay. "Biography and Culture in the Later Plays of Eugene O'Neill" (39: 6134A).
c. Walker, Herbert Kenneth, III. "Symbolism in the Later Plays of Eugene O'Neill" (39: 6768A-69A).
6. FLOYD READIES MAGNUM OPUS. Virginia Floyd's previously announced study of the O'Neill notes, drawings and other manuscript materials at Yale's Beinecke Library (tentatively subtitled "Eugene O'Neill's Ideas for Plays") is still in progress, with a probable date of Fall 1981 for publication by Yale University Press. In mid-September she reported, "The work is more complex than I had ever dreamed; for example, I have just finished the sixth draft of Iceman. By the time I finish a second or third draft in the rough I have to reevaluate previous material. All I can say at this point is that it will prove to be sensational--so many revelations." The book may exceed 500 pages, and may include from 40 to 50 never-before-published set designs that O'Neill drew for his plays.
7. THE O'NEILL-COMMINS CORRESPONDENCE. Katherine K. Oakley has completed work on an annotated collection of the correspondence of O'Neill and Saxe Commins (95 letters by the playwright and 53 by his editor, plus 216 letters and notes to Commins from Carlotta Monterey O'Neill). While Ms. Oakley had originally planned to seek a publisher herself, she reports (on November 15) that "Mrs. Commins has decided to complete the project herself." One hopes that the collection, which would be a boon to O'Neill scholarship, will soon be publicly available.
8. RECENT PRODUCTIONS.
Ah, Wilderness! Polka Dot Playhouse, Bridgeport, CT. July 4-26, 1980.
In the Zone. Ensemble Co., New Haven, CT. Performed July 23-26, 1980, as part of the company's "Summer Cabaret" series.
A Moon for the Misbegotten, dir. Geoffrey Sadwith. The Classic Theater, New York City. Closed Sept. 2, 1980.
9. FORTHCOMING PRODUCTIONS.
Ah, Wilderness!, dir. Daniel Sullivan. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, Dec. 31, 1980 - Jan. 25, 1981.
Ah, Wilderness! Boars Head Theater, Lansing Center for the Arts, Lansing, MI, Feb. 12 - March 1, 1981.
Ah, Wilderness!, dir. Geoffrey Sherman. Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, Feb. 13 - March 14, 1981.
Ah, Wilderness! Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis, April 24 - May 16, 1981.
Long Day's Journey Into Night, dir. Lou Salerni. The Cricket Theatre, Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis, MN, March 13 - April 4, 1981. (The production is tentative. Either Journey or Inge's Dark at the Top of the Stairs will be performed.)
A Moon for the Misbegotten. Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, Jan 18 - Feb. 22, 1981. (Available for touring to CA cities in March 1981. For information, call 714-231-1941.)
A Moon for the Misbegotten, dir. Frank Wittow. The Academy Theatre, Atlanta, GA. In repertory, Feb.-May, 1981. (The production toured in Florida, S. Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia in the fall of 1980.)
10. "AH, ATKINSON!" (Reprinted from the New York Times, October 16, 1980, p. C24.)
"Someday soon a busload of Eugene O'Neill admirers will abandon Manhattan for a village upstate where Brooks Atkinson now aims his critical eye at the parade of nature's creations instead of the theater's. The visitors will be members of the Theater Committee for Eugene O'Neill--a group that includes figures associated with the playwright such as Jason Robards, the actor; Jose Quintero, the director, and Theodore Mann, the producer--who have established a medal commemorating his birth in 1888.
"As the medal's first recipient they have selected Mr. Atkinson, who, as drama critic of the New York Times from 1925 to 1960--with a four-year interruption to cover World War Il--spanned the most prolific period of the only American playwright to win a Nobel Prize.
"The birthday medal, 'for enriching the universal understanding' of O'Neill, will be awarded each year, George White, the president of the O'Neill Center in Waterford, Conn., said yesterday. He is co-chairman of the committee with Barbara Gelb, co-author with Arthur Gelb of the biography O'Neill."
11. DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS, Edward Thomas and Joe Masteroff's operatic version of the O'Neill play that was developed at the O'Neill Theater Center's composer/librettist conference during the summer of 1979, had its world premiere last August, "after extensive reworking," at the Central City Opera in Colorado.
12. "O'NEILL AND THE SEA," a one-hour National Public Radio production created by its Washington affiliate (and aired by Boston station WGBH on October 21), provided a documentary portrait of the young O'Neill. Passages from O'Neill's plays, letters and diaries were read by Len Cariou, in addition to comments on the nautical O'Neill by Barbara Gelb and Harold Clurman. The program's highlight was a tape of the first American performance of Beatrice Laufer's one-act opera version of Ile at the Yale School of Music. Conducted by John Mauceri, it featured Gerald Pope as Captain Keeney and Mary Law as Mrs. Keeney.
13. O'NEILL AT NYPL. Some early love letters that O'Neill wrote to Beatrice Ashe were on display at the New York Public Library through October 31, as part of a selection of books and manuscripts by twenty-five authors whose works have been added over the past twenty-five years to the Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
14. ANENT PROVINCETOWN. The New Provincetown Playhouse now has a projected opening date of summer 1982, according to a report in the Boston Globe (July 16, 1980, p. 53), which describes its eagerly awaited contents: "The new theater, seating 300, with a smaller 100-seat auditorium, plus a library and museum, will replace the old structure destroyed by fire in 1977."
Incidentally, the November 1980 issue of Yankee Magazine (pp. 62-69) includes a pictorial feature on Provincetown--twelve colorful shots of the town today, including the current Coast Guard station at Race Point.
15. ADDENDA TO CARPENTER'S ADDENDA TO MILLER. After the first half of this issue went to press, Professor Carpenter provided two more items which, because of their late arrival, must be presented here.
Frenz, Horst. "Alexander Tairov and the 1930 World Tour of the Kamerny Theater." Pp. 177-94 of Oscar G. Brockett, ed. Studies in Theatre and Drama. NY: Humanities, 1973 (stresses performance of All God's Chillun Got Wings)
Metwally, Abdalla A. "European Roots in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh." Studies in Modern Drama. Beirut: Beirut Arab Univ., 1971, I, 111-39
16. MORE RECENT PUBLICATIONS: ADDENDA TO ITEM 3.
Schwarz, Alfred. From Buchner to Beckett: Dramatic Theory and the Modes of Tragic Drama. Ohio University Press, 1978. 360 pp. (O'Neill is discussed on pp. 132-140.)
Sittler, Loring. "The Emperor Jones: ein Individuationsprozess im Sinne C. G. Jungs?" Amerikastudien, 23 i (1978), 118-130.
Wolter, Jurgen. "O'Neill's 'Open Boat.'" Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (Kiel, W. Germany), 11 (1978), 222-229.
Wasserstrom, William. "Notes on Electricity: Henry Adams and Eugene O'Neill." Psychocultural Review, 1 (1977), 161-178.
17. AN APOLOGY. Time and space problems have prevented the inclusion in this issue of previously promised reviews of Jean Chothia's Forging a Language: A Study of the Plays of Eugene O'Neill and of the chapter on Long Day's Journey in the revised edition of Richard B. Sewall's The Vision of Tragedy. They will appear in the next issue.
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