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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. X, No. 3
Winter, 1986

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

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Princess Kukachin (Elf Fairservis) bids farewell to her grandfather Kublai, the Great Kaan (Brock Putnam) in the Sharon (CT) Playhouse's 1978 mounting of Marco Millions adapted and directed by Walter Fairservis. Photo by Martha B. Porter. The Newsletter's first illustration (in the January 1979 issue) returns to mark the completion, with this issue, of the publication's first adventurous decade.


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EDITOR'S FOREWORD

With this issue the Newsletter concludes its first decade of publication. Ten years, thirty issues, and more than 1,150 pages! I must admit that I hadn't expected such growth and longevity when I sent out the 16-page, looseleaf, pictureless and corner-stapled "preview issue" in January 1977. Nor could I have guessed that the Newsletter, by providing a vehicle for communication among O'Neill lovers around the world, would inspire the formation, a few years later, of a Eugene O'Neill Society. The Newsletter now has subscribers in 20 countries and 41 of the United States; and if congratulations are to be distributed on this tenth anniversary, it is they who deserve it. Their (your) loyalty, letters, articles, reviews and news items have permitted it to survive its salad days without, so far, overstaying its welcome. I wish I could thank each contributor by name, but the names are too many. So I have chosen, instead, to include in (or with) the next issue a cumulative index of this and all previous issues. That, if I can manage it, will be a service to scholars as well as a tribute to the many who have made my first editorial decade such an enlightening adventure.

I mentioned that the Newsletter has subscribers in 41 states, and that reminds me of one goal for its second decade: to increase that number to 50. Michael Manheim was surely right to salute O'Neill as "America's national playwright" (Summer-Fall 1985, pp. 17-23); and there must be individuals and institutions with an interest in him in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. If you know of any, send me the names and addresses and I will rush them a sample issue.

No new pictures this time: none were received! Which gave me the chance, on the cover, to reprint the very first photo that ever appeared in the Newsletter--on page 19 of the January 1978 issue, in which I reported on the exciting and moving performance of Marco Millions at the Sharon Playhouse in Connecticut the previous summer. The picture is offered, not only as a reminder of the Newsletter's rich past, but as a pre-centennial assurance that the allegedly unwieldy and unmanageable works of O'Neill's middle years are, if imaginatively treated, eminently playable, economically feasible, and just as capable of wowing an audience as the late works on which theatre companies continue to concentrate. Even more capable, in fact, in the case of Marco, because it requires no stars, abounds in comedy and satire, and (as the Sharon production proved) lends itself to a "story theatre" approach that permits doubling of roles and minimal sets and props.

The present issue concludes the reports of the 1986 Boston conference; features reviews of two important new books; continues the coverage of the recent Broadway revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night with Sheila Hickey Garvey's interview with Peter Gallagher, its Edmund, and Trudy Drucker's reassessment of the play's text and characters in the light of that production (that saga will conclude with a Spring survey of English critics' reactions); and begins with Ronald Wainscott's detailed study of Philip Moeller's direction of the Dynamo premiere in 1929. Professor Wainscott's essay was first presented as a part of the Competitive Panel in Theatre History during the August 1985 American Theatre Association convention in Toronto. The unpublished materials by O'Neill that are quoted in it are printed with the kind permission of the Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University [copyright (c) 1986 Yale University]. The news section is one of the richest yet: word of an exciting 1988 conference in Belgium, abstracts of doctoral dissertations, reports and reviews of recent O'Neill productions and publications, etc.--even a gaffe in the almost-never-faulty New York Times Crossword! All that's missing is the traditional "Society Section": there was nothing new to report in the short time since the last issue. But the news section ends with details of the Society's triple-header at the MLA Convention in New York City on Tuesday, December 30--a triptych that assures us a substantial Society section in the Spring issue.

Thanks for an exciting decade. With your help, the second will be even greater!


The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter. Vol. X, No. 3. ISSN: 0733--0456. Copyright (c) 1986 by the Eugene O'Neill Newsletter. Copyright 2011 by Harley J. Hammerman. Editor: Frederick C. Wilkins. Assoc. Editor: Marshall Brooks. Subscriptions: $10/year for individuals in U.S. & Canada, $15/year for libraries, institutions and all overseas subscribers. Only one-year subscriptions are accepted. Members of the Eugene O'Neill Society receive subscriptions as part of their annual dues. Back issues available @ $5 each. Address: The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Department of English, Suffolk University, Boston, MA 02114 U.S.A.

 

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