The Oregon Shakespeare Festival
will open Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, directed by Christopher Liam Moore, on March 29 in the Thomas Theatre. Preview performances are March 25, 27 and 28.
Long Day’s Journey into Night, a semi-autobiographical work for which O’Neill posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is considered among the finest American plays of the 20th century. In it, actor James Tyrone’s summer home is haunted by alcohol, addiction, failed dreams and ghosts of resentments gone, but hardly forgotten. Mary, his delicate wife, nurses her losses and lives in an idealized past. His eldest son Jamie is a failed actor who excels at one role: the scapegoat who, more often than not, tells the brutal truth. Only Edmund, the youngest, might succeed if he can overcome his heredity and precarious health.
The cast of Long’s Days Journey into Night features Michael Winters as James Tyrone, Judith-Marie Bergan as Mary Tyrone, Danforth Comins as Edmund Tyrone, Jonathan Haugen as Jamie Tyrone and Autumn Buck as Cathleen.
“I could not be more thrilled with this cast,” Moore says. “I think it’s going to be quite extraordinary.” Moore further discusses the play and the production in his director interviews here.
Last staged at OSF in 1975 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre, Long Day’s Journey into Night famously shares a connection with another work on the Festival’s stages this season, The Count of Monte Cristo. The patriarch of the Tyrone family is based on O’Neill’s father, James O’Neill, an actor whose fame and success on the stage in The Count of Monte Cristo trapped him in the same role for decades, stunting his career aspirations.
“That play is a ghost in Long Day’s Journey into Night as much as a person is,” Moore says. “It defined the family’s fortunes, but it trapped James. He never became the great Shakespearean actor he thought he should be and other people thought he should be.”
Scenic design is by Christopher Acebo, costumes by Meg Neville and lighting by James F. Ingalls. Andre J. Pluess is composer/sound designer, Lydia G. Garcia is dramaturg, Rebecca Clark Carey is voice and text director and Moira Gleason is stage manager.
Roberta and David Elliott are Lead Sponsors for Long Day’s Journey into Night; Production Partners include Robert Dohmen, Carole Howard and Cynthia Muss Lawrence. OSF’s 2015 season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.
Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935 and winner of a 1983 Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a major theatre arts organization that presents an eight-month season consisting of 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and new works.. The Festival also draws attendance of more than 400,000 to almost 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals. In 2008, OSF launched American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, a 10-year cycle of commissioning new plays that has already resulted in several OSF commissions finding success nationwide.