A recently unearthed one-act play by Eugene O'Neill, "Exorcism," will receive a free reading this weekend at the 13th annual Eugene O'Neill Celebration at the Monte Cristo Cottage, the boyhood home of the playwright in New London.
The celebration honors the American playwright, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes and the only American dramatist to receive the Nobel Prize. The Monte Cristo Cottage is a registered National Historic Landmark, owned and operated by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center of Waterford which is presenting the celebration.
There will also be a panel discussion on the play, free tours of the home and a screening of the film "Long Day's Journey Into Night" starring Jason Robards and Kevin Spacey.
"Exorcism, written by O’Neill in his early 30s, is viewed as autobiographical work, and a prequel to the more well-known "Long Day’s Journey Into Night." According to the center: "It details ongoing inner toils with self, with family, and with addiction – all prominent themes for the more famous work. O’Neill believed he’d destroyed all known copies of the work. 90 years later, a copy of the manuscript was unearthed."
The celebration opens on Friday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., with the film screening.
The reading will be held Saturday, oct. 6 at 10 a.m., directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, artistic director of the National Playwrights Conference.
Cast are Reed Birney, who received a Special 2012 Drama Desk Award honoring his 36 years of work as an actor; Will Rogers, whose Off-Broadway and Regional performances include the Public Theater, NY Fringe Festival, Humana Festival, and the 2012 National Playwrights Conference; Jordan Gelber, National Theater Institute alumnus, stage and television star who originated the role of Brian in "Avenue Q;" Jeremy Bobb, whose television credits include "Law & Order" and "All My Children;" and John Jellison, whose 30-year Broadway career includes "Sunday in the Park with George," "The Phantom of the Opera" and the upcoming Motown the Musical.
Following the reading, a panel of O’Neill experts will deconstruct the work in the context of its foreshadowing of "Long Day’s Journey Into Night."
Moderated by Connecticut College’s Robert A. Richter, the panel will feature Central Connecticut State University ’s Robert M. Dowling, Dan Sullivan, director of the O’Neill’s National Critics Institute, and Beth Wynstra, professor at Babson College and Board Member of the Eugene O’Neill Society.
The Monte Cristo Cottage, located at 325 Pequot Ave., will be open to the public following the events for free tours until 3:30 p.m.
Information: www.theoneill.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times