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Magnum OpusThe Cycle Plays of Eugene O'Neill$
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Zander Brietzke

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300248470

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300248470.001.0001

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(p.177) Chapter Eight The Glencairn Template
Magnum Opus

Zander Brietzke

Yale University Press

O’Neill’s wordiness invites a theatrical reinterpretation with bold gestures and design elements to replace inordinate amounts of text. The final chapter nods at O’Neill’s cycle of one-act sea plays early in his career, as well as to the fine film adaptation by John Ford in 1940, The Long Voyage Home, to suggest ways that such a production might be done. Martha Gilman Bower’s unexpurgated version provides the text for a new adaptation that unfolds around Sara. The six hours that it would take to perform A Touch of the Poet and a re-edited version of More Stately Mansions qualify as, in a term phrased by Jonathan Kalb, “marathon theater.” Like Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, the first part of O’Neill’s epic is better known than the second. But surely an audience deserves to see how Sara responds to the death of her father, a marriage proposal, children, the Harford mansion as her home, and a very jealous mother-in-law. Time draws nigh for the great work of the Cycle to begin.

Keywords:   Cycle, John Ford, The Long Voyage Home, Martha Gilman Bower, A Touch of the Poet, More Stately Mansions, Adaptation, Marathon theater, Tony Kushner, Angels in America

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