The 40th anniversary season will include ten plays and three musical theater works. For the first time in its history, both programs will play together at the Waterford, Connecticut complex through July 31.
Stage performers Rita Gardner (Morning's at Seven), Samantha Soule (Dinner at Eight), Kevin Carroll (Take Me Out), Michael Countryman (Laughter on the 23rd Floor), Liz Canavan (Our Lady of 121st Street), Florencia Lozano (Where’s My Money?), Keith Reddin (The Play’s The Thing), Rob Campbell (Small Tragedy), Patch Darragh (Our Town), Angelina Fiordellisi (Zorba), Caroline Clay (Drowning Crow), Meg Gibson (The Ride Down Mt. Morgan) and Kevin Geer (Side Man) appear in the casts of the plays.
The plays lineup is as follows: Dark Yellow by Julia Jordan (July 16 & 20) -The tale of one violent night and the following evening. Melissa Kievman directs a cast that includes Ronan Greenwood, Rob Campbell and Katie Barrett. afterdark by Kara Manning (July 17 & 21) - A cast of lost characters wander the unsettled streets of Brooklyn in December of 2001 grieving George Harrison and the suddenly-changed Manhattan skyline. Bill Partlan directs a cast that includes Matthew Del Negro, Liz Canavan, Florencia Lozano, Keith Reddin, Samantha Soule and Kevin Carroll. Transference by Wayne Peter Liebman (July 18 & 22) - Gene Lasko directs the play in which Freud and Jung disagree over a mutual female patient. The cast includes Joe Urla, James Knight and Pamela Gray. Erin Go Bra-less by John Shea (July 20& 23) - A St. Patrick’s Day weekend goes awry among a group of friends that tests the bonds of friendship and family. Daniel Goldstein directs a cast that includes Patch Darragh, Michael Chernus, Polly Lee, Melinda Peinado, Tim McGeever, Annie Talman, Vassi Spanos, Daniel Talbot and Nancy McNulty. Slay the Dragon by Victor Lodato (July 21 & 24) - On the eve of Halloween, a young, mentally retarded man, his party-girl mother and absent-minded grandmother attempt to claim his independence. Josh Hecht directs a cast that includes Rita Gardner, Brad Heberlee, Niki Sarich Rising, Sara Robinson and Derek Lucci. The Electric Century by Andrew Case (July 22 & 25) - A historical fantasy set in 19th Century New York which finds Thomas Edison meeting a library curator. Joe Grifasi directs a cast that includes Michael Countryman, Florencia Lozano, Mack Dixon, Meg Gibson, Kevin Geer, Katie Lowes, Chris Grant and Matthew Del Negro. As Reaper in Summer Grain by Keith Byron Kirk (July 23 & 27) - Based on actual events in 1914, the story of a man and his wife who are hired to work in the home of Frank Lloyd Wright and the tragedy that took place that summer. Oz Scott directs a cast that includes Kevin Carroll, Caroline Clay, Jeff Woodman, Deedee O'Connell and Ronan Greenwood. Blind Mouth Singing by Jorge Ignacio Cortinas (July 24 & 28) - A boy sneaks out of his house on night and trades places with a boy who lives at the bottom of a well in the garden and changes their lives forever. Melvin Bernhardt directs a cast that includes Yetta Gottesman, Angelina Fiordellisi, Anthony Manna, Chris Rivera and Raymon de Ocampo. The Frugal Repast by Ron Hirsen (July 27 & 30) - Two poor circus performers — who are the subject of a Picasso print — express their outrage at the invasion of their privacy with the artist, Gertrude Stein and other friends. Joe Grifasi directs a cast that includes Keith Reddin, Pamela Gray, Charlotte Madere, Mack Dixon, Derek Lucci, Liz Canavan, Niki Sarich-Rising, Joe Urla and Katie Barrett. Living Room in Africa by Bathsheba Doran (July 28 & 31) - A man and woman moved to a village in Botswana to find it is devastated by AIDS. One wants to leave, but one unexpectedly wants to stay. Daniel Goldstein directs a cast that includes Polly Lee, James Knight, Patch Darragh, Kevin Geer, Kevin Carroll and Caroline Clay.
The previously announced musicals playing include: River's End featuring music by Chuck Larkin with a book and lyrics by Cheryl Coons casts two sets of actors playing the real-life couple of Glen and Bessie Hyde, who vanished on their honeymoon to the Grand Canyon in 1928, posing two separate answers to the question of what happened to them. Jack Cummings, III directs a cast that includes Matt Farnsworth, Colby Foytik, Morgan James, Herndon Lackey (Parade), Jodie Langel (Les Misérables) and Phyllis Sommerville. Music direction is by Mary-Mitchell Campbell.
.22 Caliber Mouth with book, music and lyrics penned by Lauren Robert follows the newfound relationship sparked between two strangers who both have secret pasts. David Pittu directs a cast that features Proof star Johanna Day opposite Aaron Berk, Brian Sutherland (Steel Pier, 1776), Diane Sutherland (Three Sisters, 1776) and Paul Oakley Stovall (The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci). Music direction is by F. Wade Russo.
Hell Hole Honeys features music by Dave Ogrin, a book by Steve Mackes, with lyrics by Ben Budick, Mackes and Ogrin. The "fast-paced, musical comedy with dark undertones" follows a television producer's journey through the prison system. Doug Moser directs Kristy Cates (Wicked), Veronica Vasquez, Jene Hernandez, Daniel Levine (The Rocky Horror Show), Paul Kandel (The Who's Tommy), Greg Treco (Taboo), Farah Alvin (Nine), Tracy Lee, Christine Rea and Allison Briner. Music direction is by Tom Kitt and David Loud.
Another work that will be in residence at the O'Neill will be the developing musical Storyville set in New Orleans' red light district at the dawn of the Jazz Age. The show features music by Lisa DeSpain, lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and book by Shawn Churchman and Anderson-Lopez (wife of Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez).
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.
For more information on the O'Neill Center, visit the website at www.TheONeill.org or call (860) 443-1238.