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Lyric Stage Company to Host Conversation on Feminism and Anna Christie

The Eugene O'Neill play is set to begin its Boston run.

Dan Whelton and Lindsey McWhorter in rehearsal for Anna Christie at Lyric Stage Company.
(photo provided by the production)

Lyric Stage Company of Boston, beginning performances of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie on April 6, will hold a panel discussion titled "Feminist or Misogynist: Eugene O'Neill and Anna Christie" following the 3pm performance on April 15. The conversation will include director Scott Edmiston, O'Neill scholars Steven Bloom and Beth Wynstra, and members of the cast of Anna Christie.

The theater frames the discussion as follows: "Anna Christie, which premiered on Broadway in 1921 and earned O'Neill the second of his four Pulitzer Prizes, can be viewed as an early feminist drama. Tales of a woman with a past were not new to the stage, but O'Neill dispelled the Victorian notion that prostitution was a result of female licentiousness. He tells Anna's story with compassion and an awareness of gender economics. Consequently, the role of Anna has become a favorite of great actresses including Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullman, and Natasha Richardson. Greta Garbo chose the role for her first talking picture in 1930. In the midst of the #metoo movement when traditional gender roles and the power dynamics between men and women are being questioned and challenged, Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie is more significant and relevant than ever."

The plot of Anna Christie is described as follows: "After a 20-year separation, a coal barge captain is reunited with the daughter he unknowingly abandoned to a life of hardship. When Anna falls in love with a shipwrecked sailor, her father and her suitor come to recognize their own culpability in her plight, and all three struggle in their own way for salvation."

The Lyric Stage cast features Nancy E. Carroll, Johnny Lee Davenport, Lindsey McWhorter, James R. Milord, and Dan Whelton.

For tickets and more information, click here.