A wide range of events has been planned by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation for the 17th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival during September. The focus is on the Revolution that playwright O’Neill initiated for the American theater, and the Evolution that followed.
The center-pieces of the annual Festival are production of Edward Albee’s Seascape, opening on September 2 for nine performances at the Village Theatre in downtown Danville, and the production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, premiering on September 23 for six performances at the Old Barn at Tao House, part of the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in the Danville hills.
“When O’Neill wrote The Emperor Jones in 1920, he set a new direction for American drama that would be felt for years to come,” says Eric Fraisher Hayes, artistic program director for the Eugene O’Neill Festival.
“Seascape and The Emperor Jones represent both an evolution in American drama as well as a revolution. In both plays the central characters find themselves in unexpected situations that challenge their senses and the view of the world about them,” says Hayes.
Seascape opened in New York in 1975 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that year. The Emperor Jones made history in the second decade of the twentieth century with an African-American portraying the leading role in a Broadway play.
Tickets for both Seascape and The Emperor Jones are available online at villagetheatreshows.com, or by contacting the Foundation at (925) 820-1818.
The two plays are part of a month-long schedule of events sponsored by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, in cooperation with the National Park Service, Role Players Ensemble and the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.
O’Neill Festival (R)EVOLUTION
The Festival program includes a park hike to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary on September 11, several special Centennial exhibits, preview talks at local libraries, and the screening on September 8 of Ric Burns’ PBS American Experience documentary about Eugene O’Neill. The Festival will also feature a staged reading of Adrienne Pender’s new play, N, which tells the story of O’Neill and his relationship with actor Charles Gilpin who originated the title role in The Emperor Jones.
Tao House in the Danville Hills is part of the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service. It is here that playwright O’Neill and his wife Carlotta lived from 1937-1944, and where O’Neill penned his final and most important works, including A Long Days Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. For tours of Tao House, contact the National Park Service at (925) 838-0249.
The Eugene O’Neill Festival is produced by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, the not- for- profit organization that provides educational, community and performance programs at Tao House and the O’Neill National Historic Site. Information on the Foundation and its programs is available at www.eugeneoneill.org.
17th Eugene O’Neill Festival — 2016
Festival at a Glance
PERFORMANCES: Tickets online at villagetheatreshows.com
• SEASCAPE by Edward Albee
Village Theatre, 233 Front Street, Danville
1975 Pulitzer Prize winning drama
September 2, 3, (8 pm), September 4 (2 pm),
September 9, 10, (8 pm), September 11 (2 pm),
September 16, 17 (8 pm), September 18 (2 pm)
Presented in cooperation with Role Players Ensemble
• THE EMPEROR JONES by Eugene O’Neill
O’Neill’s 1920 Classic drama
Old Barn, Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville
September 23, 24 (8 pm), September 25 (2 pm),
September 30; October 1 (8 pm), October 2 (2 pm)
• N by Adrienne Pender
New play by Travis Bogard Artist in Residence
Old Barn, Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
September 29 (8 pm) — Staged Reading
Documentry: Screening of Ric Burns’ PBS American Experience documentary about Eugene O’Neill. Thursday, September 8 (7 pm).
Danville Veteran Memorial Hall, 400 Hartz Ave.
Centennial “Find Your Park” Hike: Join NPS and East Bay Regional Park Rangers at Front Street Park (across from Danville Library on Front Street), and hike up to Tao House. Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary.
Sunday, September 11, 9:00 a.m.
“Twin Centennials” exhibit at Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Ave., Danville. Celebrates NPS 100th Anniversary & amp; Eugene O’Neill’s first production
Special exhibits on Eugene O’Neill’s career and The Emperor Jones at Tao House
For details and updated information, go to www.eugeneoneill.org or Call (925) 820-1818.
The Eugene O’Neill Festival is a project of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House.