An experience you will not soon forget...

O'Neill

“Desire Under The Elms” by Eugene O'Neill

O'Neill is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. His accolades include four Pulitzer Prizes in Drama and the Nobel Prize in Literature. In “Desire Under the Elms” O’Neill was aiming for the effect of Greek tragedy.

Desire Under the Elms

Desire Under the Elms

“Desire Under the Elms” is the center-piece at the Tony Award-winning regional Goodman theatre’s "A Global Exploration: Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century" exhibition. The 1850-set naturalistic play shocked audiences when it first appeared on Broadway in 1924 with its highly passionate, shocking drama of three people tangled in lust and loathing. At the time, the play was subject to obscenity charges in the US and banned in Britain for sixteen years, but has been called “the first great American tragedy” by some critics.

Plot

This spring...

Ephraim Cabot outrages his three sons by returning to his remote New England farmhouse with the alluring, headstrong Abbie, thirty years his junior and now his third wife. Cabot's two elder sons leave to the Californian gold-fields while the youngest, Eben, angrily remains to claim a farm that he believes was his mother's rightful inheritance. But when Eben and his stepmother, Abbie, fall in love and produce a child that Cabot believes is his, the conflict over sex and territory comes to a tragic conclusion.

Cast

Brian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy - (Ephraim Cabot)

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Carla Gugino - (Abbie Putnam)

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Pablo Schreiber - (Eben Cabot)

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Boris McGiver - (Peter Cabot)

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Daniel Stewart -

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Christian Conn -

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John Henry

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Kelly Hutchinson

Robert Falls, the Director, has reinterpreted this play with his long-time collaborator Brian Dennehy, considered by many to be one of the great O'Neill interpreters. Dennehy is a Tony Award winning actor whose credits include two other O’Neill plays “Long Day's Journey Into Night” (2002) and “The Iceman Cometh” (1992, also at Abbey Theatre, Dublin).

Brian Dennehy (Ephraim Cabot) is joined in this production of “Desire Under the Elms” by two actors of remarkable depth and substance, Carla Gugino (Abbie Putnam) and Pablo Schreiber (Eben Cabot), to complete the devastating love triangle. Boris McGiver (Peter Cabot) and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Simeon Cabot) play Eben's sweaty half-brothers.

Falls re-assembled the design team from his 2006 critical and popular hit, “King Lear”, including Walt Spangler (set design), Ana Kuzmanic (costume design), Michael Philippi (lighting design) and Richard Woodbury (original music and sound design).

Critique