Tales From The O'Neill: A Great Wilderness and Little Children Dream of God Roundup

By Sophia Saifi
19 Jul 2013

"When this play rose up in the pile of submissions, I was excited. He (Augustin) is incredibly theatrical and political," said Goldberg. 

Comedy, grace and the dramatic are all present in Little Children Dream of God, which tells the story of a mother who risks her life to travel across the sea to save her unborn baby. It is a tale of voodoo and family, of being in a strange land and the unexpected people who provide comfort and love.  

Augustin is currently a MFA Playwriting Candidate at UC San Diego and has based the play on his own experiences growing up. Little Children Dream of God revolves around a community that lives in an apartment building located at an address where Augustin once lived himself.

"I am the youngest of seven children and I was born here (in the US)," he said. "My family is from Haiti. My mother immigrated when she was pregnant with my brother and she didn't have family here. It is the idea of being a mother and being well educated and she couldn't go to college. The play is about the dreams our parents have for us and the dreams they have to let go for their children."

In a way, Little Children Dream of God is a commentary on the immigrant experience and the confusion and emotional chaos that comes with being an alien in a strange land.

"Community's love is something I am very interested in. There are communities of people who watch out for each other and who are so giving even when surrounded by poverty and violence," said Augustin. 

The play permeates with love, but Augustin has created a world that is stark and honest. But there is always the possibility of whimsical tenderness just around the corner.

"I think the core of it for me is that it's about relationships and people and about basic fundamental love and all the different variations of love," Augustin said. "Love is something that we are all searching for." 

Little Children Dream of God features characters who have dreams that haunt and terrify, those who dream dreams that promise hope and those that don't have any dreams at all.  

Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, the cast of Little Children Dream of God included Damien Bailey, Tina Benko, Jeremy Bobb, Duane Boutté, Ashley Bryant, Mateo Gomez, Jordan Mahome and Angela Robinson. 

The National Playwrights Conference runs through July 27. Tickets and more information are available by calling (860) 443-1238 or visiting theoneill.org.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is 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.