Eugene O’Neill Festival, Danville, California
August 24 - September 29
Each autumn the town of Danville in Tri-Valley, California hosts the Eugene O’Neill Festival to celebrate the works of America’s premier playwright and Nobel prize winner.
Sponsored by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, the festival is held in the Tao House where Eugene O’Neill and his wife Carlotta lived from 1937 to 1944.
The festival features works by O’Neill, his contemporaries and those influenced by him, as well as a concert, hike and historical walk.
The couple bought the property in Las Trampas Hills with money the author received for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936. There they built Tao House.
It was in these peaceful environs that O’Neill wrote his greatest plays, including Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Iceman Cometh, A Moon for the Misbegotten and A Touch of the Poet.
Tao House and its grounds were saved from developers in the mid-1970s by a local group leading to the creation of the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, which is now preserved by the National Park Service. The house has exhibitions and regular tours.
When is the Eugene O’Neill Festival 2019?
The festival is from 24 August to 29 September.
The 20th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival Programme
This year, will see a performance of O’Neill’s timeless masterpiece Long Day’s Journey Into Night in The Old Barn, Tao House, from 14 to 29 September, directed by Eric Fraisher Hayes, the Artistic Director of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation.
Other plays featuring in the festival season include: Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at the Village Theatre, Danville (30 August to 15 September); The Second Girl by Ronan Noone, at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley (24 to 25 August), with the playwright attending a re-performance reception on 24 August; and O’Neill’s S.S. Glencairn trilogy of sea plays (30 August to 1 September).
There will also be a concert, Irish Airs and Arias, featuring soprano Clodagh Kinsella and pianist Keith Stears at the Village Theatre on 5 September.
Walks will lead visitors along a three-mile hike to Tao House led by National Park Service, as well as through the Secrets of O’Neill’s Danville.
Further details of all the events can be found here.
Danville is part of the Tri-Valley, a short drive from San Francisco. Read more about the area in Mark Bibby Jackson’s Fine Tuning in Tri-Valley California.
Eugene O’Neill Festival of Theatre, New Ross, Ireland
As part of the ‘One Festival, Two Countries’ series, the second Eugene O’Neill Festival of Theatre will be held at St Michaels Theatre, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland from 9 to 13 October.
This will feature performances of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and S.S. Glencairn trilogy, as well as O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, and The Diary of Maynard Perdu by Billy Roche. For more information, click here.
Hotels in Danville
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Further information on the Eugene O’Neill Festival
Can be found here.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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