A&E

Danville museum set for staged readings of Eugene O'Neill's 'Beyond the Horizon'

1920 work earned playwright his first Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Local performers will re-imagine Eugene O'Neill's "Beyond the Horizon" with two staged readings this weekend at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in downtown Danville.

The play, which opened in New York in February 1920 and earned the famed playwright his first Pulitzer Prize for Drama, follows the story of two brothers who grow up on a New England farm and search for a wider world "beyond the horizon."

"This is a play of missed opportunities and failed dreams," said Eric Fraisher Hayes, the Eugene O'Neill Foundation's artistic program director. "Two brothers make life-choices that alter their lives forever. Robert Mayo is called to a life on the sea, and his brother, Andrew, seeks nothing more than to work on his family's farm. Both choose to deny their destinies."

Directed by Hayes, this weekend's cast includes Chad Deverman as Robert Mayo and Teddy Spenser as Andrew Mayo, with support from Hilary Schwartz, John Hale, Beth Chastain, Valerie Weak and Dirk Alphin.

"This is the play that, literally, put Eugene O'Neill on the map," Hayes added. "This play carries forward one of the central themes in O'Neill's 'Desire Under the Elms,' which played to sold-out houses when we produced it in the Old Barn at Tao House last September."

The "Beyond the Horizon" staged readings are set for 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the museum at 205 Railroad Ave. in Danville. Tickets are $25, and seating is limited.

The Eugene O'Neill Foundation operates in partnership with the National Park Service at the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site in Danville -- where he and wife Carlotta lived from 1937-44 and where he wrote some of his most memorable plays, including "A Moon for the Misbegotten," "Long Day's Journey into Night" and "The Iceman Cometh."

In addition to "Beyond the Horizon," O'Neill also won Pulitzer Prizes for "Anna Christie" (1922), "Strange Interlude" (1928) and "Long Day's Journey into Night" (posthumously in 1957). He is also the only American dramatist to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (1936).

To book tickets for this weekend's staged readings or for more information, call 820-1818 or visit the foundation website.

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