Director William Brown has put together a remarkable cast to take the characters in Eugene O’Neill’s classic A Moon for the Misbegotten from the page and bring them to thrilling and intimate life on our beautiful Nichols stage.
This production marks the first time we will feature O’Neill’s work on our stage, and while it may be surprising that WT has not previously produced work by an author of this caliber and prominence, the reality is that we had not programmed O’Neill in the past largely due to the lack of scale of our theaters. Now, in our versatile and remarkable new home, we have the scope and capacity to let his plays breathe into their more epic canvas while maintaining our hallmark sense of intimacy.
I cannot think of a better guide to this conversation than Mr. Brown, whose previous remarkable stagings include The Glass Menagerie, Incident at Vichy, A Little Night Music and, most recently, Company. Bill has a gift for drawing sentiment out of moments that are least likely to support it and yet which most need it, while avoiding sentiment where it is most expected and, by doing so, avoiding predictability. His stagings are gently revisionist in that they draw their inspiration from the present moment rather than tradition. In doing so, they become even more relevant to our present day.
I cannot think of a better guide to this conversation than Mr. Brown.
In these complicated times, I wonder if we need to return to primary human experience in order to navigate the way forward. O’Neill, as one of the founding parents of the modern American drama, brought vision to his own times that might well serve to ground us in our own. We return to our classics time and time again to remind us of our humanity, and although those classics were often crafted in cultures that systemically are no longer acceptable because of the limitations of the moment, if they are well wrought to begin with and infused with fresh vision and conscious voices by the director, then they can become clarion beacons leading the way forward for us all.
We return to our classics time and time again to remind us of our humanity…
Lean forward and engage.