Cover image for Performing O'Neill : conversations with actors and directors
Performing O'Neill : conversations with actors and directors
Shafer, Yvonne, 1936-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
259 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3529.N5 Z773 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In Performing O'Neill , Yvonne Shafer talks with the most important actors and directors who interpreted O'Neill in the 20th century: Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Fritz Weaver, James Earle Jones, Theresa Wright, Gloria Foster, Ted Mann, and Arvin Brown, to name just a few. Actors like Robards talk about their first encounters with the master and their interpretations of roles like Hickey in "The Iceman Cometh" and James Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Directors talk about the challenges they face inbringing O'Neill's dark and compelling vision of American life to the stage and making it relevant for audiences in the 21st century. The work is a lively collection of interviews in the Paris Review tradition constructed by one of the foremost O'Neill scholars writing today.

Author Notes

Yvonne Shafer is a professor at St. John's University. She has written numerous books dealing with the theater. Her areas of specialty are German and Scandinavian playwrights as well as canonical American playwrights, chiefly Eugene O'Neill. She lives in New York City.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Shafer (St. John's Univ.) could not have compiled this book at a better time: Broadway has seen recent highly praised productions of Iceman and Misbegotten and more productions of O'Neill are on the way. Shafer's question-and-answer sessions with some of the foremost contemporary actors and directors result in a work that is a welcome addition to current understanding of the rehearsal and production process involving O'Neill's works. Shafer begins with an excellent overview of early O'Neill performers such as Charles Gilpin, Paul Robeson, Louis Wolheim, George M. Cohan, and Lynn Fontanne and the work of the Provincetown Players and the Theatre Guild. She goes on to present interviews of recent interpreters of O'Neill, among them James Earl Jones, Jane Alexander, the late Jason Robards, Theodore Mann, Teresa Wright, and Arvin Brown. Their comments are frank; their attitudes and respect for O'Neill's works and the challenges they present come through with clarity. Those intimidated by the thought of presenting an O'Neill play may change their mind after reading this work, which will interest both those actively involved in the theater and those with a passing curiosity. All collections. M. D. Whitlatch Buena Vista University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
1 Introduction: Early Actors and Directorsp. 1
2 James Earl Jonesp. 71
3 Jane Alexanderp. 87
4 Michael Kahnp. 109
5 Jason Robardsp. 121
6 Theodore Mannp. 151
7 Arvin Brownp. 161
8 Len Carioup. 181
9 Teresa Wrightp. 195
10 Gloria Fosterp. 215
11 Edward Petherbridgep. 233
12 Fritz Weaverp. 245
Indexp. 257