One Festival, Two Countries
The Danville festival featured three plays – Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Glass Menagerie and The Second Girl – an Irish music concert, a guided hike to Tao House, a historic guided walk of O’Neill’s Danville and an O’Neill exhibit at the Danville library.
All of us wrestle with our demons. The choices we’ve made or the people we’ve hurt or who have hurt us follow us throughout our lives. Often these painful episodes involve those closest to us. A great writer is one who finds a way to tell the story of these struggles in such a way that we can recognize that the writer’s story is in part our story. At the heart of this year’s Eugene O’Neill Festival will be the soul-stirring artistic confessions of two of our greatest haunted poets: Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. The festival will feature productions of O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Tao House and Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at the Village Theatre in downtown Danville. These plays are powerful and poetic demonstrations of how, for these playwrights, the ghosts of the past continued to haunt the imagination.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A FESTIVAL SPONSOR NEXT YEAR? CHECK OUT THE BENEFITS (COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS AND RECOGNITION IN OUR PUBLICATIONS) HERE
by Tennessee Williams
Role Players Ensemble, directed by Chloe Bronzan
Village Theatre, 233 Front Street, Danville, CA
Performances: August 30 – September 15
The Wingfield family lives in the shadow of the husband and father who left them to fend for themselves. Struggling to get by, mother Amanda lives in her southern belle past, son Tom lives for the day he can escape the bonds of a dead-end life, and daughter Laura lives in the comfort of her menagerie of little glass figurines that help her shut out the world. Into this little Wingfield world walks a young man who upsets everything. The Glass Menagerie was Tennessee Williams’ first great success.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes
The Old Barn, Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville
All of our performances were SOLD OUT this year! Thank you to all those who purchased tickets and for those who could not, we hope to see you next year!
A son’s looming health diagnosis and a mother’s drug addiction hang over the Tyrone family. Sparks fly as, one by one, members of the family bring painful revelations to light. The four wounded Tyrones must confront the powerful and contradictory feelings they have for each other. Loyalty and love are put to the test in this tale of survival. Long Day’s Journey Into Night is considered by many to be the greatest American tragedy ever written. Touring Tao House and then seeing the play that put Tao House on the map was a magical experience.
The Second Girl by Ronan Noone
Directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes
The Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Danville
Performances: Aug. 24, 8 pm and Aug. 25, 2 pm and 7 pm
For those who love Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs, The Second Girl was not to be missed. Set in the kitchen of the Tyrone family on the same day in 1912 that Long Day’s Journey Into Night took place, The Second Girl tells the story of the hopes and dreams and the challenges of the Tyrone family’s hired help. Their tale touches on the plight of all immigrants trying to make their way in a new world.
August 24 at 6pm
We hosted r a special opening-night reception with The Second Girl playwright Ronan Noone. Now based in Boston, Noone, the author of nearly a dozen plays, discussed The Second Girl, his creative process and the plight of Irish immigrants.
Patrons of Long Day’s Journey Into Night were invited to join us for a Picnic at Tao House before matinee and evening performances.
Two choices were offered for the picnics, provided by Sideboard of Danville.
O’Neill’s S.S. Glencairn trilogy of sea plays, performed aboard the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, San Francisco Maritime National Park, in an Irish production, directed by Paul Walsh, Aug. 30–Sept. 1 (Left: Square-rigger “Balclutha”, SF Maritime Natl Historic Park)
Visit maritime.org for more info
Concert: Irish Airs and Arias
Irish soprano Clodagh Kinsella and pianist Keith Stears brought their unique interpretations to Irish airs and to opera arias. This new-generation duo interweave their heritage and their classical training to pay homage to the old traditions in a new and exciting way. Clodagh electrified audiences at last year’s Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland, with her rendition of “Shenandoah” during the play Mourning Becomes Electra. She has appeared in many operatic roles and in concerts from Budapest to New York. Keith, winner of numerous competitions, performs regularly in Europe and America.
Other Festival Events in Danville:
A HIKE TO TAO HOUSE AND A DANVILLE HISTORY WALK
A free 3.1-mile hike guided hike from downtown Danville to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, led by National Park Service and East Bay Regional Park District rangers. Across the street from the Danville Public Library is Front Street Park, which commemorates Eugene O’Neill and the plays he wrote at Tao House. This was also the starting point for the Secrets of O’Neill’s Danville history walk.
HISTORY WALK: THE SECRETS OF O’NEILL’S DANVILLE
Beverly Lane, past president of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, led a walking tour, starting at Front Street Park in downtown Danville. Across the street from the Danville Public Library is Front Street Park, which commemorates Eugene O’Neill and the plays he wrote at Tao House. This was also the starting point for the Festival’s Hike to Tao House.
While you are in Danville for our annual Festival events, check out the bounty of fine restaurants, bakeries, pizzerias, and breweries and look for California cuisine featuring local produce. And explore the many interesting and unique shops.
At the Museum of the San Ramon Valley (on Railroad Avenue, where you catch the National Park Service’s shuttle to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site) you will find a fascinating exhibits.
Across the street from the library is Front Street Park, which commemorates Eugene O’Neill and the plays he wrote at Tao House. This is also the starting point for the Festival’s Hike to Tao House and for the Secrets of O’Neill’s Danville history walk.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A FESTIVAL SPONSOR? CHECK OUT THE BENEFITS HERE
The 2nd Annual Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross
Oct. 9 – 13, with Extended Tour Package Oct 14 – 20
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill, St. Michael’s Theatre, directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes, Artistic Director, Eugene O’Neill Foundation, St. Michael’s Theatre, Oct 10
O’Neill’s S.S. Glencairn trilogy of sea plays, performed aboard the Dunbrody famine ship, directed by Paul Walsh, Oct. 11
Strange Interlude, by Eugene O’Neill, staged reading in two parts with dinner interval, directed by Ben Barnes, Former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, St. Michael’s Theatre, Oct 12
The Diary of Maynard Perdu, written and directed by Billy Roche, best known for the Wexford Trilogy, St. Michael’s Theatre, Oct. 13
Daytime tours during the Festival: Viking Waterford, Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford, Dunbrody famine ship, Ross tapestry, Kennedy Homestead and JFK Arboretum
Festival and Day Tours Oct. 9–13
Extended Tour After Festival Oct. 14–20
Download our 2019 International Festival of Theatre flier HERE
The Festival Tour Package included dinner, bed, and breakfast for 5 nights at Brandon House. Daytime tours during the Festival: Viking Waterford, Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford, Dunbrody famine ship, Ross tapestry, Kennedy Homestead and JFK Arboretum.
The Festival and Extended Tour Package for 11 nights included Newgrange World Heritage Site, Titanic Exhibit, Belfast City, Giants Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bushmills Distillery, Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, and ended with two days in Dublin.
For further information, see firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Sean Reidy, Chair of the O’Neill Ancestral Trust, email@example.com
We look forward to welcoming you back next year!