The aspects of the director that I tackled in my research were the overall vision for the show (contained in the Director’s Note), the show’s cast (a breakdown can be seen in the character list), and the order in which the plays are going to be performed (shown in the Playbill). Like the dramaturge, I made many directors’ notes in the scripts, but they cannot be uploaded effectively.
The functions of the dramaturge that I researched for my project are the historical and literary property of the play (completed in the Dramaturg’s Note) and the complicated language of the script (completed in the glossary). I also made many notes in the scripts, but unfortunately, I cannot upload all 80 pages of marked-up text.
I intended to finish my research before June and it is, well, long after June. However, having all that time to prepare this summer has made this first week of research much easier and will make the project in its entirety better. First of all, I saw a ton of theater in DC this summer and that has really helped me to shape my vision for how this project might work, especially when it comes to directing. Aaron Posner’s witty adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac made me rethink comic-dramatic interplay and how to deal with period works while myriad Arena Stage and Capital Fringe shows made me rethink how to stage in small, unique spaces. I also used my time this summer to work on my drafting abilities for the design portion of my project. Drawing has always been a struggle for me, and I will now be able to more accurately represent my ideas on the page.
In 1924, Eugene O’Neill and the Provincetown Players first performed the play S.S. Glencairn at their theater in Greenwich Village, the Provincetown Playhouse. Glencairn is a sequence of O’Neill’s early one-acts set at sea: The Moon of the Caribbees, Bound East for Cardiff, The Long Voyage Home, and In the Zone. Their plots follow the rowdy crew of the freighter Glencairn as they endure death, starvation, abduction, and warfare on the open ocean and at port. These plays were among the works that turned O’Neill from a hopeless college dropout into a successful writer of the emerging Little Theatre Movement. The themes of addiction, solitude, family, and betrayal that he developed while writing Glencairn later became the hallmarks of his most famous pieces like The Iceman Cometh and A Long Day’s Journey into Night, while the stark realism of the four plays shaped and informed his later existential and poetic writing.