Performing Arts: O’Neill Showcase

Literary heavyweight Eugene O’Neill to be celebrated in Arena Stage’s ‘innovative’ spring festival.
By Anna Storm

Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O'Neill is directed by Kyle Donnelly and runs from MAR 9 – APR 8, 2012 in the Fichandler Theatre as part of the Eugene O'Neill Festival. (Illustration by Rob Carter)

A staple of the American theater scene (and high-school AP English classes nationwide), Eugene O’Neill’s prolific, diverse and challenging body of work is set to be the focus of this year’s Arena Stage spring festival. Last year, the theater company celebrated its move into the $135-million Meade Center by honoring playwright Edward Albee; this year, Arena Stage has chosen to partner with local arts and education institutions in an effort to “break common misconceptions” about former Nobel Laureate O’Neill.

In addition to staging two of O’Neill’s plays – the comedy Ah, Wilderness! and the classic Long Day’s Journey Into Night – The Eugene O’Neill Festival will include readings of several other plays by the author, in addition to panel discussions and lectures. The  focus is not only on the playwright’s better-known works, but rather looks to encompass O’Neill’s career, with an emphasis on his enduring role in American theater.

Ah, Wilderness! will be staged in the Fichlander Stage from March 9-April 8.  Long Day’s Journey Into Night will run in the Kreeger Theater from March 30-May 6.

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