BY Arthur Gelb
FROM The New York Times, March 15, 1956
World Premieres of Last Unpublished
Works Will Be Given by Royal Theatre
The last two unpublished plays from the pen of
Eugene O'Neill will received world premières at the Royal Dramatic
Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, where his much-discussed "Long Day's
Journey Into Night" was put on last month.
Mrs. Carlotta Monterey O'Neill, the playwright's
widow, said here yesterday that "Hughie," a one-acter, would be produced
there in the fall and that "A Touch of the Poet," a full-length drama,
would be staged in the spring of 1957.
The latter work was the first of O'Neill's planned
cycle of nine plays that was to have dealt with an American family from
the Eighteen Twenties to the author's own time. Six more of these
plays were written, but O'Neill was dissatisfied with them. He
destroyed all six before his death in 1953.
"I had the terrible experience of helping him tear
them up," said Mrs. O'Neill.
Mrs. O'Neill, who owns the rights to her husband's
plays, said she would not received any royalties from the Swedish
productions. Proceeds from the presentations will be used to set
up an O'Neill Scholarship Fund; each year on Oct. 16, the anniversary of
the playwright's birth, a scholarship will be awarded to a deserving
actor at the Royal Dramatic Theatre.
" 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' was put on
in Sweden first," Mrs. O'Neill explained, "because my husband wished
that above all things. My husband left me the other two plays to
do with as I pleased. I felt that the Royal Dramatic Theatre's
success with 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' was so terrific that I
wanted them to do the other plays. They have real theatre over
Director Expresses Thanks
Dr. Karl Ragnar Gierow, director of the Royal
Dramatic Theatre, said yesterday that it was "obviously with deep
gratitude that I have received this great gift." He arrived here
on March 5 to thank Mrs. O'Neill personally for having allowed his
theatre to put on "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Thus far Mrs.
O'Neill has turned down requests from American producers who want to do
the play in New York.
His theatre, Dr. Gierow said, had received many
invitations to tour the play in various cities abroad, "including
feelers about an appearance in New York." He added that he would
be happy to bring his troupe here with the production "if the economic
details can be arranged." Mrs. O'Neill said that she would approve
such a project.
Dr. Gierow plans to put on "Hughie" with another
one-act O'Neill play on the same program. In discussing "A Touch
of the Poet," he said that the leading role, that of Cornelius Melody,
"seems almost to have been written for Lars Hanson," one of Sweden's
"It is much brighter and more gentle than
O'Neill's other plays," Dr. Gierow continued. "It might be labeled
a serious comedy."
The play, whose action takes place in an inn in
Connecticut in the Eighteen Twenties, was completed in 1940.
O'Neill then abandoned the cycle to write "The Iceman Cometh," "A Moon
for the Misbegotten" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night."