America's First Major Playwright, 1888 - 1953
I want to be an artist or nothing.
Eugene O’Neill, 1914
When Eugene O'Neill began writing for the stage, the American theatre was dominated by vaudeville and romantic melodrama. Influenced by Strindberg, Ibsen, and other European playwrights, O'Neill vowed to create a theatre in America, stripped of false sentimentality, which would explore the deepest stirrings of the human spirit.
O’Neill wrote over fifty plays. He experimented with new dramatic techniques and dared to tackle such issues as interracial marriage, the equality of the sexes, the power of the unconscious mind, and the hold of materialism on the American soul. In each of his plays, he sought to reveal the mysterious forces "behind life” which shape human destiny.
His final plays, written in Danville, portrayed with faithful realism the haunting figures
of his father, mother, and brother who loom in the background of almost all his work. These
autobiographical plays are considered his greatest masterpieces. In a career which spanned three decades,
O'Neill changed the American theatre forever.
Topics. This historical marker is listed
Location. 37° 49.257′ N, 121° 59.786′ W. Marker is in Danville, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is on Front Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danville CA 94526, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eugene O'Neill: O'Neill in Danville (here, next to this marker); Eugene O'Neill: The Nobel Prize (here, next to this marker); Eugene O'Neill: Carlotta and Gene (a few steps from this marker); Eugene O'Neill: The Tao House Plays (within shouting distance of this marker); Eugene O'Neill: The Iceman Cometh (within shouting distance of this marker); Eugene O'Neill: Long Day's Journey into Night (within shouting distance of this marker); Eugene O'Neill: A Moon for the Misbegotten (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grange and Fraternal Hall (1874) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
More about this marker. This marker is one of eight located in Front Street Park (also known as Eugene O’Neill Commemorative Park), opposite the Danville Public Library.
Also see . . . Eugene O'Neill (Wikipedia). "Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into U.S. drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. The drama Long Day's Journey into Night is often numbered on the short list of the finest U.S. plays in the 20th century, alongside Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." (Submitted on July 29, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 29, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.