Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekly Geeks-Literary Tour

This week, I'm participating in the literary tour sponsored by Weekly Geeks. The idea is show off a literary figure that is from your area.

Probably the most well-known in this area of my state would have to be Eugene O'Neill.

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (16 October 1888 – 27 November 1953) was an American playwright, and Nobel laureate in Literature. His plays are among the first to introduce into American drama the techniques of realism, associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O'Neill wrote only one well-known comedy (Ah, Wilderness!). Nearly all of his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.

O'Neill was born in a Broadway hotel room in Times Square. The site is now a Starbucks (1500 Broadway, Northeast corner of 43rd & Broadway); a commemorative plaque is posted on the outside wall with the inscription: "Eugene O'Neill, October 16, 1888 ~ November 27, 1953 America's greatest playwright was born on this site then called Barrett Hotel, Presented by Circle in the Square."

Eugene O'Neil spent his childhood summers in Connecticut, as well, in a New London cottage which was his only permanent home. His plays "A Long Day's Journey into Night" and "Ah, Wilderness" are set there. To honor his greatness and encourage the growth of new generations of American playwrights, the O'Neill Theatre Center of Waterford, Connecticut hosts an annual festival of new plays.

Here are some images of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre:


Ali said...

That looks like a beautiful place for a theater festival! Thanks for the info about O'Neill's stomping grounds, and welcome to Weekly Geeks!

Anonymous said...

A Starbucks at O'Neill's birthplace! Oh, what is the wolrd coming to? A very informative post. Thanks!

pussreboots said...

Nice of the starbucks to have a plaque. Although he's one of my favorite playwrights. I know next to nothing about him. Thank you for teaching me about him!

Maree said...

Great photos. Welcome to the Weekly Geeks :)

Kerrie said...

Thanks for the interesting post

Kristen said...

Great job!

susan said...

Enjoyed your post. Thanks.

Here’s mine, Detroit City Poets