Eric Fraisher Hayes joined the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House in 2008. During his tenure, the Eugene O’Neill Festival has expanded from a single weekend to an entire month, and EONF has become the leading producer of the plays of Eugene O’Neill in the country. Eric has directed more than half of O’Neill’s 51 plays, ranging from the well-known Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Iceman Cometh and Mourning Becomes Electra to the all-but-forgotten Chris Christophersen, All God’s Chillin Got Wings and Days Without End. His Tao House productions of Long Day’s Journey and Hughie traveled to Ireland where they were featured at the Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross.
As a leading scholar/practitioner, he has given presentations at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Literary Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Comparative Drama Conference in Orlando, A Noise Within Theatre Company in Pasadena, and the International Eugene O’Neill Conference in Galway, Ireland. His articles “An Argument for the Third Voice: Reimagining Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie” and “Days Without End: A Living Director’s Take” appeared in the Eugene O’Neill Review in 2019. Eric has been invited to the American Literature Association Annual Meeting in San Diego in May to present a paper on his experience directing Long Day’s Journey at Tao House and is looking forward to debuting his presentation “Eugene O’Neill: 51 Plays in 51 Minutes” at the International Eugene O’Neill Conference in Boston in June.
He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the Theatre School, DePaul University and has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2001.