The Eugene O'Neill Celebration adds three venues, two days, and two Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights to its roster for its 2002 celebration of the life and works of O'Neill. Begun as a one-day festival in 2000 at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, the celebration now features three days of performances, workshops, and discussions related to the great dramatist.
The main events of the celebration will take place on Saturday, October 19 at the center. Marsha Norman ('night, Mother, The Secret Garden) will begin the festivities with a keynote address and August Wilson (Jitney, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) will receive the Monte Cristo Award for "achievement in the spirit of Eugene O'Neill's pursuit of excellence" at the end of the day. There will also be a panel discussion of O'Neill's early years in Provincetown, a reading and analysis of O'Neill's early one-act Where the Cross is Made, and a roundtable discussion with playwrights Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods), Constance Congdon (Tales of the Lost Formicans), and Israel Horovitz (My Old Lady) about O'Neill's influence on their work and the work of American playwrights in general.
Because the celebration has expanded into the neighboring town of New London, festivities will begin on Friday, October 18 with a display of O'Neill's papers and photographs at Connecticut College's Shain Library; a discussion with O'Neill authority Harley Hammerman at the same library; and a screening of the 1935 film version of O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Garde Arts Center. The celebration will end in New London on Sunday, October 20 with tours of O'Neill's childhood home and sites frequented by O'Neill during his years in New London. For a complete schedule or for more information, visit www.oneilltheatercenter.org or call the O'Neill Center at 860-443-5378 ext. 0.