Columbia Library columns (v.28(1978Nov-1979May))

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  v.28,no.2(1979:Feb): Page 3  


"Hysteria Night in the
Sophomore Dormitory"

Eugene O'Neill's Days Without End


IN the early 1930s though the disheartening shadows of the
Great Depression were deepening almost everywhere, the
lights remaining on Broadway shone as brightly as ever. Or
rather, for the more, as for the less thoughtful, in audiences around
Times Square, the marquee lights outside, and the foot and spot
lights inside, made an encouragingly bra\"e show. They were good
for morale in a time of economic turmoil and social unrest.

i^nd in the midst of these years of crisis, strenuously active sea¬
son after season, in play after experimenting play, was the most
powerful of America's playwrights, Eugene O'Neill. He con¬
tinued thereby to make a perst)nal act of faith in the theater as
"a Temple," in his own words in 1932, "where the religion of a
poetical interpretation and symbolic celebration of life is commu¬
nicated." But just how valuable then any one of his relentlessly
probing plays miglit ha\e been for morale—his morale or anyone
else's—is another story. The several ends of his Days }Vithout End
make a case in point.

This Theatre Guild production opened in New Yotk at Henry
Miller's Theatre on Jan. 8, 1934, and lasted only fifty-seven per-
  v.28,no.2(1979:Feb): Page 3