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Danville in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Eugene O'Neill

America's First Major Playwright, 1888 - 1953

 
 
Eugene O'Neill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 18, 2020
1. Eugene O'Neill Marker
Inscription.  
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
Eugene O'Neill Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 18, 2020
2. Eugene O'Neill Marker - wide view
This marker is the first of eight O'Neill-related markers along the path as one proceeds south.
Click or scan to see
this page online
is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. A significant historical year for this entry is 1914.
 
Location. 37° 49.261′ N, 121° 59.794′ 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: The Nobel Prize (here, next to this marker); Eugene O'Neill: O'Neill in Danville (here, next to this marker); Eugene O'Neill: Carlotta and Gene (a few steps from this marker); Eugene O'Neill: A Moon for the Misbegotten (within shouting distance of this marker); Danville Grammar School (within shouting distance of this marker); Tatcan Bay Miwok Indians (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grange and Fraternal Hall (1874) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Presbyterian Church of Danville, 1875 (about 400 feet away). 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
Unique poem 'plaque' near the marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, June 16, 2022
3. Unique poem 'plaque' near the marker
Like a
Saint’s vision
Of beatitude.
Like the veil of things
as they seem
Drawn back by
An unseen hand.
For a second
You see -
And seeing the secret,
Are the secret.
For a second
There is meaning!
Then the hand
Lets the veil fall
And you are
Alone, lost
In the fog again,
And you stumble on
Toward nowhere,
for no good reason!
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 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on June 17, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 29, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on July 26, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.

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Aug. 13, 2022