THE EUGENE O'NEILL SOCIETY SECTION: MLA '82 AND '83
I. MEETING OF THE OFFICERS AND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
The Officers and Board of Directors of The Eugene O'Neill Society met in the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, on December 28, 1982. Present were: Albert Wertheim, President; Eugene K. Hanson, Michael Hinden, Vera Jiji, members of the board.
Reports of the Secretary and the Treasurer were read. Arrangements were discussed for the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Society in New York at the 1983 MLA Convention. The board decided that next year's topic for the special session on Eugene O'Neill will be "Revaluating O'Neill: New Approaches, New Discoveries"; Michael Hinden was designated to chair the session.
There was discussion as to the Society's status in relation to the Modern Language Association. Professor's Wertheim's understanding was that the Society had been approved for official status as an "allied organization of the MLA"; but MLA officials at the convention had no record of this approval. Professor Wertheim was directed to discuss the matter further with MLA officials and to report the results of his discussion.
Future goals and undertakings of the Society were discussed, but it was agreed that no major initiatives be launched until next year's meeting, when a larger turn out is expected in New York. Professor Wertheim received the board's approval for several proposals. The first was to recommend to the membership a dues merger option for joint participation in The Eugene O'Neill Society and The Eugene O'Neill Foundation. Each organization levies dues of $20 annually; for an additional $10, members of one organization would receive membership in the other. Professor Wertheim also was encouraged to pursue a second proposal to create a Eugene O'Neill Playwriting Award in conjunction with the annual "Tony" Award presentations.
The President discussed several publication projects in connection with the O'Neill Centenary. The board agreed that the Society should participate actively in any such projects.
The final piece of business was to approve recommendation to the general membership of the proposed amendments to the bylaws of the Society that were circulated last year in New York.
II. MINUTES OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.
The fourth annual meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday evening, December 28, 1982, at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Arco Plaza, Los Angeles, California. President Albert Wertheim presided. Approximately twelve Society members and friends attended.
The Secretary of the Society, Jordan Miller, was not in attendance, but the President read his report and the minutes of the 1981 meeting, which were approved and accepted. The Treasurer of the Society, Virginia Floyd, was not in attendance, but the President read her report, which was approved and accepted. According to the Treasurer's Report, the Society has a balance of $2,946.86 as of 12/31/82.
The President remarked that there was some confusion as to the status of the Society's request to be approved officially as an allied organization of the Modern Language Association. Jordan Miller had reported that such status had been granted, but MLA officials in Los Angeles could not confirm this. In any event, plans are under way for a special session at next year's convention, sponsored by the Society. The topic will be: "Revaluating O'Neill: New Approaches, New Discoveries."
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the President presented several proposals for changes in the by-laws of the Society. The text of these proposals, concerning Section III.1: Terms of Membership; and Section VIII.1: Election of Officers and Directors, is available in the minutes of the 1981 annual meeting of the Society. The changes were moved and approved unanimously on a voice vote.
Professor Wertheim then made several announcements. Members were reminded that, in addition to next year's meeting in New York, there will be a special conference on O'Neill next spring in Boston. The conference is being organized by Professor Frederick Wilkins; details are available in the summer-fall 1982 issue of The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, pp. 55-56. It was announced that a planned essay collection on O'Neill's plays will be coordinated by Professor Wertheim in celebration of the O'Neill centenary. The collection will represent a variety of interests: scholarly, theatrical, critical. It was announced also that Professor André Weinstein of the Sorbonne is interested in essays on O'Neill for a collection entitled Pratique de Théâtre.
On behalf of Sally Pavetti, Jordan Pescile reported on progress at the Monte Cristo cottage in New London. Professor Pescile reported also on his script for a documentary life of O'Neill to be presented on television. 1984 is the tentative date of completion.
Gail Cohen, representing the Hedgerow Theater, praised the Society for its interest in preserving America's theatrical heritage.
Under new business, the President proposed the creation of a Eugene O'Neill Playwriting Award, to be presented annually in conjunction with the "Tony" awards. The idea was well received, and Professor Wertheim was encouraged to contact the "Tony" committee for further discussion.
Professor Wertheim also discussed a proposal to combine membership dues of The Eugene O'Neill Society and The Eugene O'Neill Foundation. Each organization levies annual dues of $20. Under the merger proposal, individuals retaining membership in one society could, for an additional $10, receive membership in the other, as well. The double membership would be offered on a voluntary basis. This proposal will be voted on at next year's meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 6:30.
III. CALL FOR PAPERS OR PROPOSALS:
At its meeting in Los Angeles in December, The Board of Directors of The Eugene O'Neill Society decided to issue an open invitation for papers on the topic "Revaluating O'Neill: New Approaches, New Discoveries" for panel presentation at the 1983 MLA Convention in New York. The deadline for our receipt of a one-page prospectus or a completed paper is March 15. The decision as to which papers will be included in the session will be made by April 1, 1983.
We are looking for papers in either of two categories: (1) the application of recent critical methodologies to O'Neill's work; or (2) new readings of the plays or assessments of O'Neill's career in light of the source materials recently made available from the O'Neill collection at Yale University. These would include O'Neill's Work Diary, his scenario for The Calms of Capricorn, his previously unpublished Chris Christophersen, his letters to Kenneth Macgowan ("The Theatre We Worked For"), and the items published by Virginia Floyd in Eugene O'Neill at Work: Newly Released Ideas for Plays. Panelists might consider the following question: In what ways should new critical methodologies or new source materials set the agenda for O'Neill studies in the decade of the playwright's centenary?
Length of papers may vary. A paper that is designed simply for oral presentation should run to no more than six or eight pages. Very often, however, papers are submitted in a form suitable for publication (at about 15-20 pages) and are later cut by the panelist for the purpose of presentation at the session. You are free to submit your paper to a journal at the same time that you submit it to us.
Please send your completed paper or a one-page detailed prospectus to the following address, by March 15, 1983:
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