Sunday, March 18, 2012

Return to an idyllic age of Americana in Eugene O’Neill’s unabashedly romantic and sweetly funny Ah, Wilderness!

Ah, Wilderness! features an almost entirely local cast. From the great American playwright O’Neill, who is better known for his darker stories, comes a joyous and truthful depiction of American family life at the turn of the 20th century. 

Ah, Wilderness! is produced as part of the Eugene O’Neill Festival at Arena Stage, a two-month citywide examination of the life and work of American playwright Eugene O’Neill. Featuring partnerships with education and arts organizations in the area, the festival runs March 9-May 6, 2012 and features three full-length productions and more than 20 readings, workshops, radio plays, lectures, panels, presentations and art exhibits. 

As the Connecticut-based Miller clan plans their traditional Fourth of July festivities, their dreamy-eyed middle child, Richard, is wrestling with cultural conventions, political uncertainty, the power of literature and the exquisite pain of love. The memories of family life were never so delicately portrayed as in O’Neill’s only comedy. His coming-of-age love letter to a simpler time astounded critics at its premiere as “one of his best works … alternately poignant and disarming” (New York Times).