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Ep 22 - Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill [1928 Winner]

Released Wednesday, 9th November 2022
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In this episode, Randy and Tyler discuss the 1928 Pulitzer Prizewinning Play, Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill.

From Encyclopedia.com: The play covers a period of twenty-five years in the lives of mostly upper-middle-class East Coast characters. It centers on Nina Leeds, a passionate, tormented woman whose fiancé was killed in World War I and who spends the remainder of her life searching for an always-elusive happiness.

This is a very long play, lasting over five hours in performance. The story is not especially complex, and the length of the play derives from O'Neill's revival of two theatrical devices that had fallen out of use for nearly a century: the soliloquy, in which a character alone on the stage speaks his or her thoughts aloud, and the aside, which enables characters to reveal their thoughts to the audience but not to the other characters on stage. These devices, which O'Neill employed at length, enabled the playwright to probe deeply into his characters' motivations. The soliloquies and asides reveal the discrepancies between what the characters say and do, and what they really feel.

******* IN OUR NEXT EPISODE *******
Join us as we discuss the 1930 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The Green Pastures by Marc Connelly.

From Encyclopedia.com: The Green Pastures follows stories of the Bible, such as Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Moses and the exodus from Egypt, and the crucifixion of Christ, but places them in a rural black southern setting. Thus, one of the opening scenes takes place at a “fish fry” in “pre-Creation Heaven,” during which God spontaneously decides to create Earth and man. God eats boiled pudding, smokes cigars, and runs Heaven out of a shabby “private office” assisted by Gabriel. The settings are roughly contemporary to the time period in which the play was first written and performed, so that, for instance, the city of Babylon is represented as a New Orleans jazz nightclub. The costumes are also contemporary: God wears a white suit and white tie, Adam is dressed in a farmer’s clothes, Eve wears the gingham dress of a country girl, and so on. The play ends with God’s decision, while back at the fish fry in Heaven, to send Jesus Christ down to Earth.

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