THE EUGENE O'NEILL SOCIETY SECTION
I. MINUTES OF THE SIXTH ANNUAL MEETING, DECEMBER 28, 1984.
The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Eugene O'Neill Society was held at 5:15 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room of the Sheraton Washington Hotel. President Albert Wertheim presided.
The Minutes of the Fifth Annual Meeting as distributed in the Newsletter were approved. Reports from the Secretary and Treasurer were presented (see below) and accepted.
Al Wertheim reviewed the Society's status vis-a-vis MLA. Since we are now officially affiliated, we will continue, as this year, to have a place in the MLA Convention Program, enabling the Society to hold its Annual Meeting, a Committee (Board of Directors) meeting, and a regular session with presentation of papers, all to be appropriately listed.
The 1985 Session will be chaired by Paul Voelker. Topic will be "O'Neill's American Forbears and Contemporaries: Studies in Relationships and Influences." Papers should be submitted at once. Address: Paul Voelker, University of Wisconsin Center-Richland, Highway 14 W., Richland Center, WI 53581.
The 1986 meeting will be in New York. Jackson Bryer will be chairing the Session. No topic has been announced.
Discussion was held concerning the possibility of a publication project in anticipation of the Centennial in conjunction with the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, ASTR, and/or ATA. Some essays about the restoration work on Monte Cristo Cottage and Tao House might be included, but it would be mostly of a critical nature with some theatrical history. The Greenwood Press is the tentative publisher. We need suggestions about the thrust of such a volume, including topics, general theme, and so on. Assistance will be needed for editing as well. Al Wertheim asked for suggestions and for volunteers to assist. Adele Heller suggested formation of a Society sub-committee to begin study of the project; Jackson Bryer agreed to undertake initial work. Considerable discussion was entered concerning what the contents should be, members expressing hope that it would be different from other such undertakings, that it contain emphasis on aspects of O'Neill as man of theatre, literary artist, with history of productions, possibly some reproduction of important documents, and so on. It was strongly felt by all that a definite design be followed. Members are encouraged to get in touch with Al Wertheim at the following address: Department of English, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401.
Al Wertheim announced that the Board of Directors are planning a pre-centennial major event, possibly a dinner, at the 1987 MLA convention.
Information was conveyed to the membership concerning the present status of Tao House and Society combined membership. The Society is undertaking negotiations with representatives of Tao House and Monte Cristo Cottage about a possible combined membership. At present, however, any Society member may join Tao House by paying the Society an additional $10, for a total of $30 in dues--but for regular members only.
Discussion was held concerning the status of Society support for the Newsletter. Because of increased costs of publication, the Board voted to allocate $10 of regular dues and $5 of student and emeritus dues to the Newsletter to continue its regular delivery to all Society members. Adele Heller asked about the sources of Newsletter support. Fred Wilkins explained that it is supported entirely through subscriptions, both by Society members and others, with certain secretarial support for typing and and the like rendered by the Suffolk University English Department staff.
Fred Wilkins announced a sequel to his successful meeting in March 1984 to be held in 1986 at Suffolk University. It will be concerned with O'Neill's later years. Nothing has been permanently planned as yet and all suggestions are welcome. Contact Fred at the English Department, Suffolk University, Boston, MA 02114.
Adele Heller announced plans for a major conference to be held in 1986 or 1987 at Provincetown. She is working with Gordon Armstrong of the University of Rhode Island. The theme will be on the political, economic, artistic and philosophical atmosphere of 1915 at the time of the development of the Provincetown Players. Early plays of O'Neill will be staged.
Al Wertheim discussed the plans that the Board has to induce the Government to strike an O'Neill Centennial Medal. The Secretary will pursue this matter through contact with his Congressional representative.
Jordon Pecile discussed the film that was approved by the National Endowment and for which matching grants are being sought. It is hoped that this important film on O'Neill will get under way this year. Perry Miller Adato has worked on another film on O'Neill which will eventually be presented on PBS on American Playhouse.
Jackson Bryer requested that he be informed of any O'Neill letters which any member may possess or know of for the forthcoming volume which he and Travis Bogard are working on. Let him know before July if possible. Travis is currently putting together a computerized subject list of all the extant letters, a total of 2800 so far. Anybody with any idea about getting it published should let him know: Dept. of Dramatic Art, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94724.
Meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.
II. FINANCIAL REPORT, 1/1/84 - 12/31/84, submitted by Virginia Floyd, Treasurer.
Bank: R.I. Hospital Trust National
III. SECRETARY'S REPORT FOR 1984, submitted by Jordan Y. Miller, Secretary.
The Society closed the 1984 year with 144 members, a gain of 31% over the 108 at the end of 1983. We have members from eleven foreign countries. Much of the gain came from Fred Wilkins' March conference, and while renewals are coming in now at a fairly steady rate, we have no idea how many of the new members will stay with us. We obviously need more if we are to remain a truly viable organization. A top priority will be how to add new members over the coming year.
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