Tomorrow afternoon at 5pm, in celebration of Eugene O’Neill’s 126th birthday, members of the Actor’s Theater of Austin will present a performance of O’Neill’s one-act play Hughie. This small gem, from the author of Long Days Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, is set in the lobby of a run down New York hotel in the summer of 1928. A small time hustler, “Erie” Smith, regales the new night clerk with stories of his pal Hughie, the old night clerk, who “croaked last week”
Two members of the BookPeople staff, Emily Rankin and Michael Stuart, are behind this production celebrating the life of what they call a “great American playwright.” When asked what draws him to the work of O’Neill, Stuart, an actor, responded, “His work is very real and natural, but the language is very poetic.”
Emily Rankin, who is directing this production, observed that “you don’t see a lot of [O’Neill’s] stuff produced in Austin. He’s considered the American Shakespeare. He takes an unabashed look at the fallenness of humanity. The detail in his work is brilliant–he has his worlds pictured down to the color of the eyes of his characters. These people are attempting to grasp onto hopes and dreams and you see them slipping away. O’Neill wasn’t afraid of that.”
Seating is limited so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 825-1623. There will be cake!