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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. XII, No. 2
Summer-Fall, 1988



1 CENTENNIAL-DAY GALAS, EAST AND WEST. Not even an SST could get one to both, but O'Neill's 100th will be celebrated with festive theatrical programs on both U.S. coasts on Sunday, October 16. At 3:00 p.m., the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco will host a "Centennial Birthday Party," produced by the ACT in conjunction with the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Tao House, and directed by ACT Associate Artistic Director Joy Carlin. Featured will be scenes from O'Neill plays presented on the West Coast during the 1987-88 season. Participants include the ACT (Marco Millions), the Oregon Shakespearean Festival (The Iceman Cometh), the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Ah Wilderness! and Long Day's Journey), Magic Theatre (Moon for the Misbegotten), and Just So Productions (a Glencairn one act). A reception will follow. At 7:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m., San Francisco time), New York City's Circle in the Square will host a "Gala Centennial Tribute to the Genius of Eugene O'Neill," presented by the Theater Committee for Eugene O'Neill, and featuring "scenes (and songs) from O'Neill's plays performed by stars of stage and screen," and followed by a buffet reception and dance. So it can be said that, for an hour or so, the centennial festivities will literally and simultaneously span the continent.

2 PAST AND FUTURE CELEBRATED IN PROVINCETOWN. Two recent events--one a commemorative look back, the other a creative collaboration for the future--deserve the attention and applause of all O'Neillians. The first. on July 28 (the 72nd anniversary of the opening there of Bound East for Cardiff), was the unveiling of a bronze plaque marking the site of the Provincetown Players' original wharf theatre. Replacing a since-lost plaque that had been mounted there in the 1960s, it bears the following inscription: "In 1915, on a wharf belonging to Mary Heaton Vorse which extended from this site, a fish shed was converted into a theater by a group later named the Provincetown Players. On July 28, 1916, the Players staged the first production of 'Bound East for Cardiff,' by the then unknown Eugene O'Neill, which launched his career as a playwright and changed the course of modern American drama." Speakers at the 9 a.m. ceremony included descendants of the original Players; Adele Heller, Producing Director of the Provincetown Playhouse; and novelist Norman Mailer, who talked about literary Provincetown. The second event, on September 7, was the announcement of a "unique collaboration" between the Playhouse and Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable. The Playhouse will mount professional productions at the College, where students will gain valuable experience as assistants and interns. Our congratulations to Mrs. Heller on this double achievement--a celebration of the Provincetown Playhouse's roots, and a reaffirmation of its commitment to the development of American theatre.

3. ATTENTION, SONGSTERS! Here's a chance to add the final touches to the Eugene O'Neill Songbook, edited by Travis Bogard, that will be published early in 1989 by UMI Research Press. It will contain words and music for the sixty-odd songs that O'Neill calls for in his plays, and will be of great interest to O'Neillians, melodic Americanists, and especially producers of O'Neill's plays. The problem is this: despite years of intrepid sleuthery, Professor Bogard has still not located two of the songs.

One I don't expect to find, a line sung in The Movie Man: "Mexico, my bright-eyed Mexico." It is probably a bad English translation of a Mexican or Spanish song. The other is important and baffling. It's sung by a boozy sentimental tenor in the first scene of The Hairy Ape and goes:

Far away in Canada
Far across the sea
There's a lass who fondly waits
Making a home for me.

If any of your devoted readers heard it at their mothers' knee, I long to know about it.

Readers who have the words and music for one of both of these songs can send them to the Newsletter for forwarding to Professor Bogard. Do help to make the Songbook complete. Locators will be publicly congratulated in a future issue of the Newsletter.

4. NO WINNER IN PLAY CONTEST. At Sardi's on July 8, the judges in the O'Neill Society-sponsored contest for a play about O'Neill reached the decision that, while several of the entries had considerable potential merit, none had yet been sufficiently developed to be appropriate for the staged reading at the Circle in the Square that was promised for the winner. The President of the Society thanks judges Romulus Linney, Louis Sheaffer and Milan Stitt for their lengthy labors, and shares their regret that there could be no victor. The editor hopes to provide, in a future issue, authors' synopses of several entries, both to show the fascinating variety of dramatic avenues available in treating O'Neill's life, and to alert theatre companies to the plays' availability.

5. SECOND O'NEILL CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT IN NEW YORK CITY. Following its photographic tribute, "The Face of Genius: Images of Eugene O'Neill," the Museum of the City of New York will present a second exhibition, entitled "American Lines: Manuscripts of Eugene O'Neill," from October 17, 1988 to January 8, 1989. Among the assembly of manuscripts, programs, production photos, artwork, promptbooks and scenic designs that will be on display are the manuscripts of Beyond the Horizon, Ah, Wilderness!, Bound East for Cardiff and several other one act plays; the scenic design for Bound East for Cardiff; the stage manager's script and Robert Edmond Jones's scenic designs for Ah, Wilderness!; and Eugene and Carlotta O'Neill's opening night telegrams to the Broadway production's star, George N. Cohan. The exhibition has been organized by Patrick Hoffman, Assistant Curator of the Museum's Theatre Collection. The Museum of the City of New York is located on Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street. For viewing dates and hours and up-to-date program information, call (212) 534-1034. Two exhibit items are pictured below. At left: Jones's scenic design for Act Three, Scene One of Ah, Wilderness! At right: Edward Arnold (Andrew Mayo) stands above Richard Bennett (Robert Mayo) in a scene from the 1920 Broadway production of Beyond the Horizon. The photographs are reproduced with the kind permission of the Museum of the City of New York.

6 CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT AT THE BEINECKE. To celebrate the O'Neill centennial and its own twenty-fifth anniversary, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University will offer, from November 7 to December 21, a display of O'Neill manuscripts, books, letters and diaries. The exhibition, whose organizer is Patricia C. Willis, Curator of American Literature at the Beinecke, explores O'Neill's dramatic art as an imitation of his life, and will feature photographs of the author and original materials relating to the production of his plays. Viewing hours are 8:30 to 5 on Mondays through Fridays, and 10 to 5 on Saturdays. For more information, write to the Beinecke Library, Box 1603A Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520, or call (203) 432-2977.

7 "EUGENE O'NEILL: ONE HUNDRED YEARS LATER" was the subject of a session at the 1987 Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on November 7. The papers presented were "Eugene O'Neill and the Sea Plays," by Robert Willebrink, Univ. of Central Arkansas; "Eugene O'Neill: The Religious Impulse, 1914-1923," by Gerald Lee Ratliff, Montclair (NJ) State College; "Expressionism and Eugene O'Neill," by Ronald Shields, Bowling Green State Univ.; and "A Deconstructive Analysis of Desire Under the Elms," by Joel Murray, Indiana-Purdue Univ., Fort Wayne.

8. O'NEILL AT NEMLA '88: a report by Steven F. Bloom. On Thursday, March 24. at the Northeast Modern Language Association annual convention in Providence, RI, Martha Bower chaired the O'Neill session entitled "'Theatricality' and Experiment in Eugene O'Neill's Middle Years."

Bette Mandl, Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston, delivered a paper on "Theatricality and Otherness in All God's Chillun Got Wings," in which she analyzes how the "conceptual forms" that shape the play determine both its "power" and its "limitations." Mandl's provocative thesis is that while the play seems to renounce racial prejudice, its emphasis on differences and "otherness" reinforces universal polarities between black and white, as well as between male and female, that suggest the impossibility of social change: "In seeking to avoid an explicitly political comment through a focus on individual reality, the play unwittingly makes one through its design that is much less progressive than O'Neill would have consciously intended."

Nancy L. Roberts, Assistant Professor in the School of Communications and Journalism at the University of Minnesota. then presented a paper entitled "Eugene O'Neill to George Jean Nathan on the Craftsmanship of All God's Chillun got Wings and Strange Interlude."' Based on her research for the recently published book, "As Ever, Gene": The Letters of Eugene O'Neill to George Jean Nathan, which she co-edited with Arthur W. Roberts, her paper considers various excerpts from the letters that reveal O'Neill's working methods, especially on Chillun and Interlude. She also cites evidence of O'Neill's evaluations of his own plays, as well as his responses to the evaluations of Nathan and other critics. Ultimately, in studying the relationship between playwright and critic, Roberts demonstrates that "the O'Neill letters illuminate the fine line between friendship and professional distance that the critic must walk."

Finally the assembled group was treated to two videotaped excerpts from productions of Strange Interlude, provided by Frederick Wilkins, Chairman of the English Department at Suffolk University in Boston, and President of the Eugene O'Neill Society. Wilkins selected the scene from Act Two in which Ned tries to gain Charlie's assistance in convincing Nina to marry Sam. first from the 1932 film with Clark Gable and Norma Shearer and then from the 1987 public television production with Glenda Jackson. A lively discussion among conference attenders followed on the relative merits (and demerits) of the two productions, based on this scene, and on the production problems of Strange Interlude in general.

9. CHINESE STUDENTS GATHER TO CELEBRATE O'NEILL. As part of the international celebration of the O'Neill centennial, Nankai University and Tianjin TV hosted a National Conference on Eugene O'Neill for Postgraduates from May 5 to 7, 1988, in Tianjin, People's Republic of China. The conference was organized by Liu Siyuan and Li Gang, graduate students of American literature in the Foreign Languages Department of Nankai University. Approximately sixty doctoral candidates and postgraduates from sixteen universities and colleges across the country participated in the conference. Thirty-two of them delivered papers, which centered mainly on O'Neill's thought, philosophy and artistic achievements; his Oriental inclination; and his influence on modern Chinese drama. The conference was a prelude to this year's celebration of O'Neill's centennial in China and the earliest celebration activity outside the United States. It was also the first of its kind for postgraduates in China. All of the participants and experts on O'Neill who attended the conference agreed that it would certainly give new impetus to O'Neill research in China. In addition to the paper sessions, participants enjoyed an English language production of Ah. Wilderness! that was directed by Liu Siyuan and performed by Nankai University students.

10. MLA '88--AND '89. The dates and hours of O'Neill Society-sponsored events at the 1988 Modern Language Association Convention in New Orleans have been announced. All will take place in the New Orleans Hilton on 28 and 29 December.

* "Eugene O'Neill at 100: Respects and Retrospects," a paper session (#299 in the MLA Program) moderated by Frederick C. Wilkins. 3:30-4:45 p.m. on December 28 in Marlborough B. Speakers: Normand Berlin, Univ. of Massachusetts ("O'Neill's Shakespeare"), Marc Maufort, University Libre de Bruxelles ("The Playwright as Lord of Touraine: O'Neill and French Civilization"), Martha Bower, Univ. of New Hampshire ("O'Neill: A Tragedian for All Seasons"), and Michael Hinden, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison ("'The Right Kind of Pity': O'Neill's Gift to American Drama").

* Cash Bar arranged by the Eugene O'Neill Society. 5:15-6:45 p.m., in the same room. (We will either plead with the bartender to open early, or have longer than usual for questions and answers. Whichever, it will be a festive and convivial close for the centennial year.

* Annual Business Meeting of the Eugene O'Neill Society. 5:15-6:30 p.m. on December 29 in the Trafalgar Room. (This meeting will be preceded by the annual meeting of Board and Officers, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in the Newberry Room.)

The title of the O'Neill session at the 1989 MLA Convention in Washington, D.C., will be "Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Eugene O'Neill." Those interested in applying one of the recent critical methodologies--New Historicism, Deconstruction, Narratology, etc.--to a play or plays by O'Neill are encouraged to send abstracts (limit: 500 words) or papers (limit: 10 pages) to Professor James A. Robinson, Dept. of English, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. The deadline is March 1, 1989. Professor Robinson, who will chair the session, emphasizes the above "etc.": any contemporary critical approaches are eligible, as are all O'Neillians, whether they be established scholars or graduate students.

11. CALL FOR PAPERS. Steven F. Bloom will chair the 1989 NEMLA session on O'Neill, scheduled for Friday, March 31, at the Radisson Hotel in Wilmington, Delaware. The topic will be "Heirs Apparent and Inapparent: O'Neill's Influence and Legacy." The September 15 deadline for submissions has passed. If slots still remain, readers can find out by writing to Prof. Bloom at Emmanuel College, 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.

12. CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE IN WEST GERMANY. Professors Ulrich Halfmann and Meinhard Winkgens have organized an O'Neill Symposium that will be held at the University of Mannheim on 5-6 November. Fourteen scholars from thirteen German cities will speak at three major sessions, on such subjects as O'Neill's Provincetown connection, his experiments with expressionism, his role as cultural critic, his attitudes toward the working class, his affinities with Nietzsche, and the elements of realism, mysticism and tragedy in his plays. Among the specified plays mentioned in paper titles are The Great God Brown, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra, Long Day's Journey and A Touch of the Poet. For a copy of the program and information about securing copies of papers, readers can contact Prof. Dr. Ulrich Halfmann, Universität Mannheim, Lehrstuhl Anglistik III - Amerikanistik, Schloss, D-8800 Mannheim 1, Federal Republic of Germany.

13. "EUGENE O'NEILL: AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND ART" is the topic of a centennial conference to be held at Washington University in St. Louis on November 10-11, 1988. The conference. organized and directed by Henry I. Schvey, Chairman of WU's Performing Arts Department, will feature talks by such scheduled speakers as Travis Bogard, Jackson R. Bryer, Virginia Floyd and John Henry Raleigh. Among the other highlights will be a first-time exhibition of first editions, letters and photographs from the private collection of Dr. Harley J. Hammerman; screenings of film adaptations of O'Neill's works; and a mainstage production of Desire Under the Elms, directed by Ann Marie Costa, at the University's Edison Theatre. Professor Schvey notes, quite rightly, that the conference "should provide an exciting critical reassessment of the role of the autobiographical impulse in the work of this great dramatist." For information, contact Professor Schvey at Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1108, St. Louis, MO 63130. Tel. (314) 889-5858.

14. CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION IN PORTLAND, OREGON. The Portland Area Theatre Alliance has put together an exciting group of activities collectively entitled "Eugene O'Neill: A Centenary Celebration." In addition to the productions of A Touch of the Poet and A Moon for the Misbegotten by PATA affiliates that are included in this issue's production list, the Northwest Film and Video Center, a division of the Oregon Art Institute, will screen a series of film adaptations of O'Neill's plays on Thursdays and Sundays through the month of October. [The number for information about titles, dates and showtimes is (503) 221-1156.] And Portland's Storefront Theatre will present "concert readings" of five of O'Neill's less familiar works on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m.: The Hairy Ape on 9/27 and Ile and Where the Cross Is Made on 10/10, both at the Winningstad Theatre in the Portland Performing Arts Center; Hughie on 10/24 in the Ann Hughes Coffeehouse at Powell's Books; and Anna Christie on 11/7 in the Storefront Theatre at Third and Burnside. [For further information, call (503) 224-4001.] Our congratulations to the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (P.O. Box 12068, Portland, OR 97212) for its major contribution to the O'Neill centennial.

15. ASSORTED PAPERS AND SESSIONS ON O'NEILL. Henry I. Schvey spoke on "The Master and His Double: Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms and Sam Shepard's Buried Child" in March 19 at the Mid-American Theatre Conference in Kansas City, MO. Marc Maufort spoke on "Experiments in Tragic Form: Belgian Productions of Long Day's Journey Into Night" on August 5 at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, in San Diego, CA. Bernard Bergonzi, Normand Berlin, Michael Manheim and John H. Stroupe were featured speakers at a "Centennial Symposium on Eugene O'Neill and T. S. Eliot" in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on September 23-25. (For information on subjects and paper availability, contact Anji Roy, Department of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901.) The subjects (and speakers) at the international symposium on "Eugene O'Neill as Contemporary Theatre," held at Hosei University in Tokyo on 11-12 June, included "The Search for a Blissful Land: Utopian Motifs in O'Neill's Plays," "Provincetown Players: The Culture and the Legacy" (Adele Heller), "The O'Neill Tradition at Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre, 1923-1982" (Tom Olsson), "The Psychological Relevance of O'Neill's Plays" (Peter Egri), "Eugene O'Neill in Contemporary Chinese Theatre," "Theatre Language: Word and Image in The Hairy Ape" (Jean Chothia), "The Beckettian O'Neill" (Normand Berlin), and "The Pipe Dreams of O'Neill in the Age of Deconstruction" (Herbert Blau).


Travis Bogard and Jackson R. Bryer, eds., Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988. xi + 602 pp. $35.00, cloth. ISBN 0-300-04374-0. (To be reviewed in a future issue of the Newsletter.)

Michael Burlingame, "Eugene O'Neill at the Rippin Cottage," The Day (New London, CT), July 24, 1988, p. All. [As an antidote to the tragic saga surrounding Monte Cristo Cottage, Burlingame, an Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College, relates the happier story of O'Neill's stay at the Rippin home across the street, where, as the playwright later said, "I first started my pen-pushing in earnest." Local O'Neill devotees are currently trying to save the house from demolition, and Burlingame is definitely among them. "Preserving the Rippin Cottage," he writes, "would remind the world that New London was more than a crucible of suffering for the town's foremost Nobel Prize winner; in fact, it was also a place where he knew joy and health and where he began the most distinguished career in the history of American drama."]

Michael Burlingame, "O'Neill Recalled Warmly," The Day (New London, CT), July 21, 1988, pp. El, E3. [An interview with Earle F. Johnson (the interior decorator who had helped the O'Neills furnish their home in Marblehead, MA), on the occasion of Johnson's visit to Monte Cristo Cottage to donate the cane and deck chairs of O'Neill's that Carlotta had given him after the death of the husband she always referred to as "the Master." O'Neill was generally taciturn but genial when Johnson visited, while Carlotta was given to volubility. He sensed no tension between the couple, and irritation flared only at references to Eugene, Jr., whom "Carlotta so disliked ... that she would immediately burn the sheets that he and his lady friend had slept on when visiting the Marblehead home."]

Gabrielle H. Cody, "Extracts from a Journal: Meditations on Long Day's Journey Into Night," Yale Reports, 12:5 (1988), 3-4, 8. [On a cross-country series of train rides in the last month of 1987, the dramaturg for the Yale Rep's 1988 production of O'Neill's autobiographical masterwork seeks the roots of her previously unexamined reverence for the dramatist and finds them in "a play about the slow eclipse of light, the ultimate need to accept darkness" by a man whose greatest creative impetus, was his "disappointed Catholicism" (p. 4).]

Péter Egri, The Birth of American Tragedy. Budapest: Tankonyvkiado, 1988. 227 pp. ISBN 963-18-1052-6. (To be reviewed in a future issue of the Newsletter.)

Pamela Erens, "Portrait of the Playwright as a Young Man," Connecticut (February 1988) pp. 82-87, 169-171. [An ancecdotal survey of O'Neill's life, richest on the New London years and his roles as son, brother, journalist, husband and father. The major source (acknowledged) was the two-volume biography by Louis Sheaffer.]

Anthony Fichera, "Ah, Wilderness!: O'Neill's True Family?" Yale Reports, 12:5 (1988), 2. [Thoughts on the biographical relevance of the play by the dramaturg for its Yale Rep production in 1988. Noting that the protagonist, Richard Miller, resembles his creator as a poetic adolescent rebel, Fichera sees Ah, Wilderness! and Long Day's Journey as complementary "apologias: Long Day's Journey for the way his family failed him, and Ah, Wilderness! for the way he failed them."]

Richard Hornby, "O'Neill's 'Death of a Salesman,'" Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 2.2 (Spring 1988), 53-59.

Marc Maufort, "Eugene O'Neill and the Shadow of Edmond Dantès: The Pursuit of Dramatic Unity in Where the Cross Is Made (1918) and Gold (1920)." In Gilbert Debusscher, ed., American Literature in Belgium. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1988, pp. 89-97. [The author offers the following abstract. The early one-act plays of O'Neill have too often been criticized for their apparent lack of complexity. In some cases, they can prove more coherent than long plays such as Dynamo or The Great God Brown. A comparison between Where the Cross Is Made and Gold, a development of the former into four acts, sheds light on this phenomenon. The setting of the one-act version offers, through O'Neill's skilled use of lighting and sound effects, more poetic qualities than Gold. In the short play, the various threads of the action are unified by Nat's consciousness, in a method comparable to the novelistic "stream of consciousness." In Gold, on the contrary, the plot remains melodramatic. Similarly, the pipe-dream motif of Cross is given a more subtle treatment than in Gold, in which the father eventually recognizes the elusive nature of his hopes. In summation, Where the Cross Is Made presents a number of innovative features that deserve critical praise. Drawing from the Count of Monte Cristo metaphor, on which the two plays are based, one could argue that only in the one-act did O'Neill, following in the footsteps of Edmond Dantès, find the buried treasure of meaningful and coherent craftsmanship.]

Eugene O'Neill, The Complete Plays, ed. Travis Bogard. New York: The Library of America, 1988. Vol. I (1913-1920), 1104 pp. $35.00, cloth. ISBN 0-940450-48-8. Vol. II (1920-1931), 1092 pp. $35.00, cloth. ISBN 0-940450-49-6. Vol. III (1932-1943), 1007 pp. $35.00,cloth. ISBN 0-940450-49-X. The appropriate publication date is October 16, 1988, and the three volumes will also be available in a boxed set for $100.00 (ISBN 0-940450-62-3). A review will appear in a future issue of the Newsletter, but readers need not wait for it: this first complete edition of O'Neill's plays supersedes all previous collections and is sure to remain the standard edition of O'Neill's dramatic works throughout the playwright's second century.

"O'Neill and the American Theatre," a special issue of Modern Drama (March 1988), whose specifically O'Neill-related contents are these:

Ernest G. Griffin, "O'Neill and the Tragedy of Culture" (pp. 1-15);

Linda Ben-Zvi, "Freedom and Fixity in the Plays of Eugene O'Neill" (pp. 16-27);

Normand Berlin, "The Beckettian O'Neill" (pp. 28-34);

Hubert Zapf, "O'Neill's Hairy Ape and the Reversal of Hegelian Dialectics" (pp. 35-40);

Ann Massa, "Intention and Effect in The Hairy Ape (pp. 41-51);

Laurin R. Porter, "The Iceman Cometh as Crossroad in O'Neill's Long Journey" (pp. 52-62);

John Henry Raleigh, "Communal, Familial, and Personal Memories in O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night" (pp. 63-72);

John H. Astington, "Shakespeherian Rags" (pp. 73-80); and

Robert Ready, "The Play of the Misbegotten" (pp. 81-90).

Yvonne Shafer, "Eugene O'Neill and American Expressionism," American Studies (1987).

Edward L. Shaughnessy, Eugene O'Neill in Ireland: The Critical Reception. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988. 221 pp. ISBN 0-313-25627-6.

Evert Sprinchorn, "O'Neill's Myth Plays for the God-Forsaken," Theatre Three (forthcoming).

Ronald H. Wainscott, "Exploring the Religion of the Dead: Philip Moeller Directs O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra," Theatre History Studies, 7 (1987), 28-39. [Director Moeller and set and costume designer Robert Edmond Jones were major contributors to the success of the 1931 Theatre Guild production, as Professor Wainscott shows most persuasively in his study of the preproduction and rehearsal periods as well as the critical reactions. Moeller's third O'Neill production and Jones's eighth was among their best.]

Frederick C. Wilkins, "O'Neill at 100," Americana (July-August, 1988), pp. 47-52. [A sketch of the playwright's life, with an illustrated report of the restoration of Monte. Cristo Cottage and Tao House, and news of centennial activities and productions in both houses' environs.]

17. CENTENNIAL INSPIRES REPRINTS. Our congratulations to two publishers, St. Martin's Press and Paragon House, for choosing to reprint four essential books that other, less perspicacious publishers had foolishly dropped from their catalogs. St. Martin's Press has released paperback editions of José Quintero's If You Don't Dance They Beat You and Normand Berlin's Eugene O'Neill ($10.95 each). And Paragon House will bring out, next March and September, the two volumes of Louis Sheaffer's prize-winning biography, O'Neill, Son and Playwright and O'Neill, Son and Artist. (New, hardcover editions of both volumes have already been released, primarily for libraries, by AMS Press, at a price of $75 each. PH's paperback editions will cost around $15 each.) Veteran O'Neillians doubtless have the four books already; but they can indicate their approval of the new releases by securing copies for potential converts.

18. THEATRE ANNUAL will devote its 1988 edition to O'Neill. The articles, selected by special editor Paul Voelker, are four: "The Dreamy Kid: O'Neill's Darker Brother," by Gary Jay Williams; "The Metatheatre of O'Neill: Actor as Metaphor in A Touch of the Poet," by Jeffrey Mason; "Mariners and Mystics: Echoes of Moby Dick in O'Neill," by Marc Maufort; and "O'Neill's Presence in Long Day's Journey Into Night," by Bruce Mann.

19. A DISSERTATION. Ann C. Hall, "A Kind of Alaska: Women in the Plays of Eugene O'Neill, Harold Pinter, and Sam Shepard." Ohio State U., English, 1988. Dir. K. H. Borkman.

20. A PRINTING ERROR IN LONG DAY'S JOURNEY: a note from Stephen A. Black. Page 109 of all printings of Yale UP's Long Day's Journey Into Night contains a significant printing error. It comes in Act Three, near the end of Mary's long speech to Tyrone and Edmund when they have returned from their visit to the doctor. Mary's thoughts drift to Jamie and, according to the text, she says:

But we mustn't allow him to drag Edmund down with him, as he's like to do.

Both the holograph (Beinecke Library Zx / O'Neill / 92 ax; III, p. 8) and the typescript (93 x; Act Three, p. 9) show that instead of "he's," O'Neill intended "he'd." The difference is considerable. The phrase "he's like to do" is a Midwest ruralism, a contraction of "he's likely to do." It's an unlikely usage for a writer as devoted to adverbs as O'Neill, and an unlikely phrase for someone of Mary's education. As for its meaning, the printed phrase expresses a prediction of a future event, whereas "he'd like to do" expresses a belief in a wish and motive. O'Neill intends Mary to say that she believes Jamie wants to drag Edmund down to his level of failure.


Ah, Wilderness! Portsmouth (NH) Academy of Performing Arts, May 19-22, 1988.

Beyond the Horizon, dir. Frank Bessell. Berkshire Public Theatre, Pittsfield, MA, Oct. 6 to 27, 1988, with a special matinee performance on centennial Sunday, October 16. For information, call (413) 445-4631.

The Emperor Jones, with choreography by Todd Bolender. Missouri Repertory Theatre, Kansas City, MO, Aug. 16-28, 1988.

Long Day's Journey Into Night. Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis, IN, Fall 1988. Opening production of IRT's 1988-89 season. (Tel. 1-800-234-2500.)

The Long Voyage Home, In the Zone and Ile, dir. Edward Golden. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Oct. 20-22 and 27-29, 1988.

A Moon for the Misbegotten. Strand Theatre, Schroon Lake, NY, July 8-9 and Aug. 5-7, 1988.

A Moon for the Misbegotten. New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Drew University, Madison, NJ 07940, Oct. 15 - Nov. 5, 1988. [Tel. (201) 377-4487.]

A Moon for the Misbegotten, dir. Tom Ramirez. Portland (OR) Repertory Theatre, Nov. 12 - Dec. 17, 1988. [Tel. (503) 222-2487.]

A Touch of the Poet, dir. John Stephens. Academy Theatre, Atlanta, GA. Closed on June 4, 1988.

A Touch of the Poet, dir. Malcolm Black. A Theatre Plus production at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto, ONT, Sept. 5 - Oct. 1, 1988.

A Touch of the Poet, dir. Twig Webster. New Rose Theatre, Portland, OR, Sept. 14 -October 16, 1988. (Two actors will play the role of Con Melody--"one as the real Con, the other as Con sees himself.") For information, call (503) 222-2495 or 222-2487.

22. ERRATUM IN ENCOMIUM. When proposing that an artist be declared a national treasure (as I did on p. 68 of the last issue), the proposer should certainly spell the candidate's name correctly. Having failed to do so, I send deep apologies to ISA THOMAS, whose incandescent Christine Mannon remains a highlight of the 1987-88 O'Neill season. -Ed.

23. GOOD NEWS FROM STRATFORD. Stratford, Connecticut, that is, where a quarter century of star-studded theatre came to a halt when the American Shakespeare Theatre went bankrupt in 1982. Well, the institution is to reopen, renamed the American Heritage Theatre, renovated by the state at a cost of $7.2 million, and affiliated with the University of Connecticut. In the theatre's new manifestation, Shakespeare will share the stage with dance and musical performances--and with the works of Eugene O'Neill! The search is on for an artistic director. We hope the winner will be adventurous, inventive, and enamored of the entire E.G.O. canon.

24. DUNE DOIN'S. As the Newsletter goes to press, the briny issue of whether or not to grant landmark status to the 15 or so dune shacks between Provincetown and Truro on Cape Cod is being scrutinized by state and federal authorities. If made landmarks, the shacks, which for decades have been part of a rich literary and artistic tradition made famous by Eugene O'Neill and others, will be protected from destruction by the National. Park Service. The N.P.S., as custodian of the Cape Cod National Seashore, determines the fate of dune shacks when their owners die. And the standard fate is demolition; there were far more than 15 in the past. Needless to say, the dune shacks represent a unique part of American culture and are deserving of support from O'Neillians and all concerned citizens. The Peaked Hill Trust is working to preserve the shacks, some of which can be seen in a striking two-page photograph in the August issue of Yankee Magazine. Preservation-minded readers are urged to contact the Trust (Box 1705, Provincetown, MA 02657) for further information and details on how they can assist the cause. Hearty, adventurous readers may also want to inquire about renting a dune shack at $100-$175 per week. O'Neill's Peaked Hill Bar coast guard station vanished into the sea long ago, but the dune ambiance of the area along with its magnificent view of the sea is much the same as it was 50 years ago. There is nothing quite like it elsewhere. --Marshall Brooks.



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