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Welcome to the 19th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville
and the Inaugural Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland
Danville, CA: August 31-September 30, 2018
New Ross, Ireland: October 11 – 14, 2018


The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, and the O’Neill Ancestral Trust of Ireland are partnering to produce “One Festival, Two Countries,” the Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville in September and the Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland, in October.

One Festival, Two Countries embodies a civic as well as a cultural partnership. Danville and New Ross have become Friendship Cities, and official delegations from the two cities will attend one another’s O’Neill festivals. The Danville delegation to New Ross will be led by Mayor Newell Arnerich and Vice Mayor Robert Storer. The Danville festival is sponsored by the Irish Consulate in San Francisco.

Why an O’Neill festival in Ireland? Eugene O’Neill famously said, “The one thing that explains more than anything about me is the fact that I’m Irish.” Ireland early recognized O’Neill’s genius with celebrated productions of his plays.

Why in New Ross? James O’Neill, Eugene’s father, lived with his parents and seven siblings in nearby Tinneranny. In 1847, in the wake of the potato famine, the O’Neills emigrated from the Port of New Ross. James, then five years old, later became one of the most famous actors in America. The festival honors not only Eugene O’Neill but also James, a favorite son of New Ross.


The 19th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville

The Danville festival will feature two plays and a concert.



All My Sons by Arthur Miller

Village Theater, 233 Front Street, Danville, CA

Each member of the Keller family holds one piece of the secret about the wartime disappearance of the oldest son. A series of revelations changes the Kellers forever. All My Sons was Arthur Miller’s first major success.

Performances: August 31 and September 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16


Hughie by Eugene O’Neill

The Old Barn, Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville

In the desperate hours of the night, two lonely strangers try to make sense of their lives. In a fresh take on the play, director Eric Fraisher Hayes brings to life the thoughts of one of the characters, expressed in O’Neill’s stage directions, giving the audience a new appreciation of O’Neill the dramatist and humorist. Hughie was written while O’Neill lived in Tao House and benefit productions of the play, starring the original cast of Jason Robards and Jack Dodson, helped save Tao House.

Performances: September 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30


“Turlough O’Carolan: Ireland’s National Composer in Music & Song”

Village Theater, Danville

The second of a series of concerts co-presented by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House and the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, bringing Irish music to Danville in honor of the inaugural One Festival, Two Countries. O’Carolan was a harpist born in the era of J.S. Bach. Strongly influenced by European music of the time, he interwove European structural influences with haunting Irish melodies.

Two master musicians from Ireland, guitarist/composer David Creevy and singer/composer Melanie O’Reilly, will perform the songs of Turlough O’Carolan, generally recognized as Ireland’s first great composer. David’s transcriptions of O’Carolan’s music for guitar, interwoven with Melanie’s melodies and songs, will create an unforgettable soundscape. Sponsored by Chevron Corporation.

Performance: September 20



Other Festival Events in Danville:




Enjoy a guided hike from Front Street Park in Danville, through Alamo and our beautiful local parks to the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site. The hike is organized by the National Park Service. Other participants will be East Bay Regional Parks, Save Mount Diablo, Mount Diablo Interpretive Society, California State Parks, and the Town of Danville, and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. Tao House will be open for self-guided tours.

Sunday, Sept. 9 at  9:00 am                             Cost: Free

Advance registration is recommended, by Tuesday, Sept.  4, HERE



Join Beverly Lane, past president of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, for a walking tour, starting at Front Street Park in downtown Danville and ending at Camille St., Alamo.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2:00 pm                         Cost: Free

No reservations needed.



While you are in Danville for the 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 exhibit, The California Indian: The First People, which opens on Sept. 4.

The Danville Public Library, 400 Front Street, features a display about O’Neill as well as an exhibit featuring the new Friendship City relationship of the Town of Danville and the City of New Ross, Ireland. Partners creating the exhibition are the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, the National Park Service, and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House.

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.



At the museum or at Cottage Jewels (100 W Prospect Ave, Danville), pick up a Discover Danville booklet, sponsored by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. With the passport’s coupons and discounts, you can shop, dine, and explore from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15. This is part of Danville’s Live Locally program but is also open to out-of-towners!




The Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross

The New Ross festival will feature four plays and a film.


Download our International Festival of Theatre flier HERE 


Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill

Singled out by the Nobel Prize Committee in 1936 as O’Neill’s “grandest work” to that point, Mourning Becomes Electra will be directed by Ben Barnes. One of the most renowned directors of theater and opera in Europe, Ben is a former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre. This will truly be a theatrical “event,” both because it will be performed in two parts, with a dinner break, and because Ben will attract some of the greatest actors in Ireland for this staged reading.

The S.S. Glencairn Cycle by Eugene O’Neill

O’Neill’s four one-act sea plays, collectively entitled the S.S. Glencairn cycle, will be performed on the Dunbrody, a full-scale replica of one of the Famine ships that brought emigrants like the O’Neills and President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandparents from New Ross to America. Based on O’Neill’s youthful experiences as a merchant seaman, the Glencairn plays launched his career as a playwright. This site-specific production, with the necessarily small audience moving about the Dunbrody to the various settings of the plays, will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

My Real Life by Eoin Colfer

My Real Life, also directed by Ben Barnes, was written by New York Times best- selling author and Wexford, Ireland native Eoin Colfer. A hit at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it later toured Ireland to great acclaim. “My Real Life was a surprisingly enthralling evening laden with as much humour as pathos.” (The Irish Times)

Hughie by Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O’Neill Foundation Artistic Director Eric Fraisher Hayes and his cast will take the Danville production of O’Neill’s Hughie to the New Ross festival and tour it in Ireland thereafter.

The Count of Monte Cristo, starring James O’Neill

For the festival the Library of Congress has prepared a print of the 1913 silent film, The Count of Monte Cristo, starring James O’Neill in his signature role. This role brought James fame and wealth as he played it on stage thousands of times. However, as his alter ego laments in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, James purchased that success at the cost of abandoning his rise as one of America’s most promising Shakespearean actors: “What the hell was it I wanted to buy, I wonder.”


The New Ross Festival Package

While each evening will be devoted to theater, each day will be spent touring such sights as Hook Lighthouse, Tintern Abbey, Waterford Crystal, Kilkenny Castle, Smithwick’s Brewery, and the Ros Tapestry. Sean Reidy, co-chair of “One Festival, Two Countries” and former CEO of the JFK Trust, has arranged a special tour for us of the Kennedy Homestead, the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy. We expect to be greeted by JFK’s young cousin, who still farms the ancestral land.

What does the festival package cost? Amazingly little–$800. This includes five nights at the four-star Brandon House hotel (bed, breakfast, and dinner), the festival events in the evening, and the day trips, including light lunches. ($100 single supplement)

The Extended Tour Package

Dan McGovern, president of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, and his wife Carolyn will join festival-goers taking the optional extended tour. This tour will include two days exploring Kerry’s Wild Atlantic Way, including the Skellig Islands, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula. We will conclude our tour with a day in Dublin visiting Trinity College, the National Museum, the National Library, and the Parliament. The total cost of the Festival Package and the Extended Tour Package is $1,700. ($250 single supplement)

Make your reservations at