O'Neill Theater Center
Announces Summer Season

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center will offer an abundance of opportunities to partake of theater-in-the-making this summer at their conferences for new work and professional development.

Public performances will take place June 13 through August 10 at The O'Neill, located in Waterford, CT, on Long Island Sound, and will include script-in-hand readings of new plays, musicals and puppet theater as well as free guest speakers and open rehearsals.

The O'Neill creates and operates programs that advance new work for the stage and utilizes that work to inform artists and audiences. These include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute, a college-accredited training program for theater artists.

The O'Neill also owns and operates the Monte Cristo Cottage, childhood home of America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill. The Center holds a celebration at the cottage honoring the life and works of its namesake every October.

The 2003 summer season selections will be chosen from nearly 900 plays and 150 musicals. Highly skilled artistic directors and selected conference staff will offer formal and informal guidance to the chosen artists. New works are presented as staged readings, without elaborate scenery or costumes, so that the power of the play can come through as it unfolds in front of an audience for the first time. This system is recognized worldwide as the "O'Neill Process."

In addition to its long-standing programs, the O'Neill's role as the "research and development" center of theater continues to grow through the Trustee Residency and Educators Observership programs, started two years ago to allow contributors the chance to live within the O'Neill's vibrant community and follow a play from its first reading through its final, script-in-hand performance.

The Playwrights Conference will continue its "All-Conference Series" of lunchtime speakers, featuring playwrights Lee Blessing and Ed Bullins, Theatre Communications Group Executive Director Ben Cameron, director David Esbjornson (Edward Albee's "The Goat or Who is Sylvia?"), composer Willy Schwartz ("Metamorphoses"), playwright Paula Vogel and many others.

Scores of playwrights, composers, librettists, critics, performers, scholars and students nurtured at the O'Neill Center have gone on to capture varied forms of recognition in the theater arts world, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Academy Award, the Tony Award, the Emmy, the Obie, the Golden Globe, and the Richard Rodgers Award.

The O'Neill Theater Center is the recipient of a special Tony Award, the National Opera Award, the Jujamcyn Award of Theater Excellence and the Arts and Business Council Encore Award.

The seven hundred plays and musicals developed and debuted at the O'Neill include such notable works as Lee Blessing's "A Walk in the Woods," John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves," Wendy Wasserstein's "Uncommon Women and Others," August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Fences," "Avenue Q" by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty and "Nine" by Arthur Kopit, Mario Fratti and Maury Yeston.

To reserve tickets or receive a summer schedule, you may call the O'Neill Center at 860-443-5378 or the box office at 860-443-1238.

For more information, visit www.TheONeill.org.

-- OnStage Boston


For related O'NeillConference stories detailing the schedules of new plays and musicals see the News Listing page.


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