Congratulations to Theodore Mann, who on Jan. 7, 1999 will receive a special medal for his "monumental contributions" to the production of Eugene O'Neill's plays. As reported by the New York Times and confirmed by Mann's office at Circle in the Square Downtown, the O'Neill Society will give Mann the medal in conjunction with the Society's four-day meeting, Jan. 7-10, 1999 in Bermuda. (O'Neill lived there with his wife, Agnes Boulton, 1924-1928.)
The scholarly seminar will offer not only theses about the dramatist but a sampling of music associated with his plays. Representatives from Australia, China, Canada and the UK will be among the attendees at the 1999 conference. Previous Medal winners include Jason Robards, Arvin Brown and William Hutt.
Among the topics covered in talks during the conference are "O'Neill's America: The Playwright As Historian," "Peace and Abdications of Identity in O'Neill's Late Plays," "The Magna Master: The Maternal Goddess in O'Neill's Plays," "Guilty Hands: Gesture, Physiognomy and Affect in O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "Our Home! Our Home!: Eugene O'Neill and Agnes Boulton at Spithead."
It was Mann and Jose Quintero's production, at Circle in the Square, of The Iceman Cometh in 1956 that helped vaunt O'Neill into the pantheon of American playwrights. Mann produced 13 other O'Neill plays, including Ah, Wilderness! and All God's Chillun Got Wings. Other O'Neill works include Strange Interlude, Hughie, Rope, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Desire Under The Elms.
-- By David Lefkowitz