The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut has a new space: the Dina Merrill Theatre, unveiled June 3 by the center's board of trustees and founder George White. A true barn theatre, the Dina Merrill Theatre was converted into a brand new, 250-seat performance space. The opening program, given in honor of Merrill, featured Robert Stack, Christine Andreas and Carol Hall. Merrill performed on Broadway in the drama Angel Street and the musical On Your Toes. Her many film and TV appearances include "Operation Petticoat," "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "The Brass Ring," "True Colors," "The Player" and "Mighty Joe Young."
Since 1965, the O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut, has provided a haven for nurturing new straight plays. Producer and conductor Paulette Haupt co-founded the Music Theater Conference in 1978 with O'Neill Center founder and chairman White to provide what was at the time a unique forum for developing new musicals.
-- By Christine Ehren