THE EUGENE O'NEILL SOCIETY SECTION
I. OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
II. MEETING OF THE OFFICERS AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Report by Jordan Y. Miller, Secretary.
The Officers and Board of Directors of The Eugene O'Neill Society met in the Hilton Hotel, New York, on December 28, 1982. Present were: Winifred Frazer, Acting President; Jordan Miller, Secretary; Virginia Floyd, Treasurer; Board Members: Sally Thomas Pavetti, Frederick C. Wilkins, Eugene K. Hanson, Esther M. Jackson. Also present: Albert Wertheim, President-elect, and Michael Hinden and Vera Jiji, board members-elect.
Arrangements for the Third Annual Meeting to be held the same evening were discussed. It was decided that the main theme for any activity at the Annual Meeting and MLA Convention in December 1982 in Los Angeles should center around O'Neill and film. Appropriate blanks will be secured for submitting to MLA in order to schedule a special session. The Society is still under the blanket moratorium on recognition of new groups imposed by MLA.
Two items of business were transacted. The Board determined that ten members of the Society would be needed to call a Society meeting. This number should now be entered under Article VII, Meetings and Quorums, Section VII.l.d of the by-laws. The second item of business was to designate Michael Hinden as Chairman of the Board for such duties as may fall to that individual under the by-laws.
III. MINUTES OF THE THIRD ANNUAL MEETING.
The Third Annual Meeting of the Eugene O'Neill Society was held on Monday evening, December 28, 1981, at 5:30 p.m. in the Museum of Broadcasting, One East 53rd Street, New York. Acting President Winifred Frazer presided. Approximately thirty Society members and friends attended.
Before the formal meeting commenced, the group enjoyed a discussion by Andrew Harris, producer of last summer's experimental production of Welded at Columbia University, of some of the experiences encountered during the production.
Winifred then informed the group of President Horst Frenz's illness, with a progress report from Susan Tuck, who has worked closely with him. Recovery has been slow, Susan stated, but the Society does remain active in his thoughts. The membership then expressed its desire that greetings be sent to Horst, wishing him a speedy recovery.
Vera Jiji was also thanked by Winifred and the group for making the necessary arrangements with the Museum for the meeting, since the MLA still holds us under the established moratorium on recognition of new societies, preventing us from securing rooms in MLA facilities. Hopes were expressed that this moratorium would soon be lifted.
Greetings were conveyed from Barbara Gelb, who urged the Society to keep in touch with the committee on which she is serving concerning centennial activities.
The minutes of the Second Annual Meeting in Houston in December, 1980, were distributed and approved, with correction by placing the name of Vera Jiji to replace Esther Jackson as chairman of the annual meeting committee, and adding Virginia Floyd to the committee.
Virginia Floyd presented the Treasurer's report. Income for 1981, including bank balances, interest on savings account and membership fees collected, was $2971.57. Expenses were $1010.00, leaving a balance as of December 31, 1981, of $1061.57. The report was accepted.
The following proposals for changes in the by-laws were presented:
Section III.1: Terms of Membership
Section VIII.1: Election of Officers and Directors
Jordan Miller explained the rationale for these proposals in view of two years of experience as Secretary. The Section III proposals make for greater ease of membership record keeping, and the Section VIII proposal simplifies a presently cumbersome system which has proven during the current year to be virtually inoperable.
The proposed amendments were accepted for presentation to the membership at the next Annual Meeting, when they will be voted upon under procedures in the by-laws.
Winifred presented on behalf of the Board the decision to insert the number "10" in Article VII.l.d of the by-laws as the minimum number of members required to petition for a meeting of the Society. Passed by voice vote.
REPORTS. From Tao House, no formal report, except for Eugene Hanson's mention that access is still a problem and the house remains generally closed to the public. Sally Pavetti reported on behalf of Adele Heller and the Provincetown Theatre as well as on behalf of Monte Cristo Cottage. Provincetown still faces major financing problems connected with the erection of the new theatre in the face of rising costs. A new beginning to the whole project, replacing the present fund-raiser and board, is now under way. Adele will remain in Provincetown throughout the winter to supervise what will apparently be a smaller scale undertaking than originally planned.
Concerning Monte Cristo Cottage, Sally reported that problems exist--cellar leaks, need for authentic period furniture, and so on. To assist the budget, an admission charge of $2.00 will now be imposed. The second floor is being turned into a library with the hope of making it an American Theatre Library and Museum.
Fred Wilkins reported on the Newsletter. He welcomes reviews of productions of O'Neill plays, including pictures, and any and all kinds of articles. Some discussion was held concerning the possibility of making the Newsletter into a Society journal with different format, but no action was taken. Members present expressed high praise for the increasingly excellent quality of the Newsletter, which is listed in the MLA and other scholarly bibliographies.
Jordan reported on membership and the difficulties in securing tax-exempt non-profit status from IRS in order to secure low-cost mailing privileges. A mailing of 600 names provided from ASTR is ready to go as soon as the permit arrives. Membership at the end of 1981 stood at precisely the same as 1980--82 members in all categories. Foreign membership includes three from Japan, two from India, and one each from Hungary, Korea, Sweden, France, Canada, Finland, and Australia. Renewals to date have been encouraging.
Michael Hinden, reporting for the Publications Committee, stated that the main accomplishment during the past year was making arrangements for the Newsletter to be a part of membership dues, thus becoming the Society's official organ while remaining a basically independent publication.
David Schoonover, successor to Donald Gallup as Curator of the Beinecke American Literature Collection at Yale, was then introduced. He discussed the Yale holdings, for which a checklist is being considered, with hopes to have it available in time for the centennial. Of special interest to Society members is the fact that the O'Neill material is catalogued but with some restrictions remaining as to use. (Carlotta's letters are restricted until 1995, for instance.) Manuscripts are being xeroxed, and correspondence under consideration for publication, including the Macgowan letters, which have recently appeared. David introduced Leslie Comens who covers the legal aspects. He stated that royalties from the O'Neill productions provide the most income for the Beinecke American Literature Collection. The library's preliminary edition of the poems is available free. The work diary in two volumes (library edition, transcribed by Dr. Gallup) may be ordered for $10.50. The Calms of Capricorn scenario and reconstruction is available in two volumes, also for $10.50 (Vol. I: scenario. Vol. II: play, prepared by Gallup.) Order from the Beinecke Library, Box 1603A, Yale Station, New Haven 06520.
David reported that the Random House-Yale project mentioned at last year's annual meeting is not quite accurate. There is hope now that the complete plays will be produced in the Library of America series distributed by Viking, with Time-Life handling direct mail. A three-volume Modern Library edition of O'Neill is scheduled for spring 1982. Also planned is a first edition of Chris Christopherson. There is also interest :n doing cable TV productions of O'Neill plays, and the Circle in the Square has proposed a season of O'Neill beginning next year with Iceman, Journey, and Wilderness and the possible formation of an O'Neill repertory company.
OTHER REPORTS. Susan Tuck reported that she has completed the work which Horst Frenz began and hopes for release by Southern Illinois University Press late in 1982. Esther Jackson summarized her work on American drama in the classroom at Wisconsin. Michael Manheim stated that he hopes his book, Eugene O'Neill's New Language of Kinship (Syracuse University Press), will be available in 1982. Harold Easton discussed some of the problems and intentions of the Studio Theatre production of Moon of the Caribbees and Hughie, scheduled for production on January 26-30.
Eugene Hanson discussed ideas for the Los Angeles Annual Meeting in December 1982, which will be devoted to O'Neill and film.
The meeting was then turned over to the new President, Al Wertheim. He expressed a wish to upgrade the Newsletter to the status of a journal, and asked for ideas and suggestions from the Society concerning sponsorship of some kind of centennial publication, such as a collection of essays and criticism. Perhaps something, other than a mere festschrift, could be published at Indiana and dedicated to Horst. Also some possibility through ASTR and Southern Illinois for special volumes of the plays.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30.
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