New York City
Proud and tempestuous Cornelius Melody (Con) owns a run-down inn and tavern near Boston in 1828. Laden with debt, Con clings to his tenuous identity as a landed gentleman and war hero and chastises his wife and daughter for actions that expose the family’s humble Irish origins. When his daughter, Mary, falls in love with a wealthy American guest at their inn, Con’s pride drives him to an explosive reckoning with his true place in the New World.
A Touch of the Poet, Eugene O’Neill’s tragic tale about the immigrant experience and generational aspiration, was the first work written for the playwright’s famously unfinished cycle about the Irish in America. Completed in 1942, A Touch of the Poet has received four Broadway productions. It premiered in October of 1958 at the Helen Hayes Theatre, nearly five years after the playwright’s death.