This book catalogues and identifies the actors, actresses, directors, producers, scenic and costume designers who have ventured into the production of the works of Eugene O’Neill, from the Provincetown days to the present. When we began it, we imagined it could not involve more than a few hundred, possibly a thousand entries, of the grand names of the theatre, since Quintero and Robards happened on the scene a half century ago. How wrong we were. Our entries number over 3300—in e›ect Quintero and Bogard did not limit, but inspired O’Neill production. Having made this discovery, we were several years into the chase when we realized we had to decide on what would be our terminus ad quem. A round figure— 1999, 2000—so easy to contemplate, especially with Kevin Spacey’s London Iceman Cometh reviving in New York in 1999 and Jason Robards’ death in December 2000, followed by a pause while actors drew breath? Not a chance. Al Pacino did a Los Angeles revival of his Hughie in 1999, Sam Waterston (aka Jack McCoy) did Long Day’s Journey into Night on the Syracuse (NY) Stage in the summer of 2000. Word gets out that Vanessa Redgrave is contemplating a New York Long Day’s Journey—maybe with Brian Dennehy; that Helen Mirren might do a London Mourning Becomes Electra; and where is the breathing space? And if we don’t know when to stop, where and when can we begin our supplementary volumes? So we soldiered on until October 2004—as close to publication date as possible.
The biographical entries are intended as short accounts of the lives of the subjects, starting with a summary of their O’Neill enactments (roles played or other involvement, in what works, when, where) and followed by a su‡ciency of incident to give the reader some sense of the subjects’ career achievements and abilities.
We have tried to be definitive in our coverage, but that said, we know we have fallen far short of our mark. An obituary of Gregory Peck notes that his acting career began with a role in a college production of “Anna.” We locate some information about it, but what role did he play? Who directed? Who else was in it? And there are other such cases. The sheer volume of plays produced, the legions of actors involved, and often the obscurity (theatrically speaking), especially as regards regional, college, summer, and community productions, of some of the cast and crew have thwarted our best attempts. Many in our volume had their O’Neill moment and then were heard from no more. Nonetheless, we have uncovered a daunting number and have been able to give, in many cases, some indication of the direction their professional lives have taken.
More than two-thirds of the people listed in this book are actors and actresses. For the reader seeking the names of those working behind the scenes, we have provided a name index listing only those personnel— directors, producers, and others. No actors or actresses are listed in the name index.
A second index lists production companies and theatres. A third index lists plays and characters.
Our information comes from a scouring of innumerable sources —first the original Eugene O ’Neill Newsletter and its prodigious o›spring The Eugene O’Neill Review, primary since they are the only academic publications devoted exclusively to O’Neill scholarship and play performance; then the O’Neill bibliography by Jordan Y. Miller, Eugene O’Neill and the American Critic (1973), and the bibliographies we ourselves produced, especially Eugene O’Neill: An Annotated International Bibliography, 1973 through 1999 (McFarland, 2001). These were relied on extensively, as were the databases our libraries subscribe to—most usefully EbscoHost’s Newspaper Sources, ProQuest for Historical Newspapers, and Lexis-Nexis. Other helpful sources were those listed in the bibliography and the numerous Internet databases, for instance IBDb, IMDb, ITDb, and Google, available to anyone with Internet access.
© Copyright 1999-2007 eOneill.com