Eugene O’Neill and the Goodman

With acclaimed productions of The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and more to his name, Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls has been hailed as one of the leading interpreters of Eugene O’Neill. The Goodman’s rich history with the “Father of American Drama” (1888-1953) spans most of the theater’s history.


1939 – O’Neill’s work makes its Goodman Theatre debut via a production of Anna Christie, directed by David B. Itkin, Director of the Goodman Memorial Theatre.

1944 – Eunice Osborne directs Ah, Wilderness!, with future comedian Shelley Berman appearing as Wint Selby.

1953 – Itkin directs Desire Under the Elms.

1954 – Itkin returns to O’Neill’s work, this time directing a new production of Anna Christie.

1955 – Following in her father’s footsteps, director Bella D. Itkin brings the work of O’Neill to the Goodman stage with Mourning Becomes Electra. The production features costumes from famed designer Theoni V. Aldredge, who went on to create a fashion sensation with her designs for the film The Great Gatsby. A multiple Tony Award winner, Aldredge also designed the original Broadway productions of Dreamgirls, Annie, A Chorus Line and many others.

1957 – Charles McGaw, head of the Goodman School’s acting program, helms a new production of Ah, Wilderness!

1976 – As part of the Goodman’s 50th Anniversary Season, Artistic Director William Woodman directs Mourning Becomes Electra, starring Judith Ivey, a future two-time Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee.

1976 – George Keathley directs Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

1990 – Artistic Director Robert Falls directs Brian Dennehy in The Iceman Cometh, launching a three-decade collaborative exploration of O’Neill’s work between the director and actor. Two years later, they brought the production to Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.

1996 – Falls and Dennehy reunite for a production of A Touch of the Poet; the cast also features future Tony Award winner Deanna Dunagan.

2000 – Cherry Jones and Gabriel Byrne star in Daniel Sullivan’s production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, which moves to Broadway shortly afterward, earning Tony Award nominations for Best Revival of a Play, Best Actress and Best Actor in a Play.

2002 – The Tyrone family returns to the Goodman stage in Robert Falls’ production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, featuring Brian Dennehy, Pamela Payton-Wright, Steve Pickering and David Cromer. The following year, Falls and Dennehy mount the play on Broadway with Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard joining the cast. The production wins Dennehy a second Tony Award for Best Actor (following his win for the Goodman production of Death of a Salesman), as well as Tonys for Redgrave and Best Revival of a Play.

2004 – Falls directs Dennehy in the one-act play, Hughie.

2009 – Dennehy, Carla Gugino and Pablo Schreiber star in Falls’ production of Desire Under the Elms, which moves to Broadway later that year. In conjunction with that production as a centerpiece, the Goodman presents the epic A Global Celebration: Eugene O’Neill in the 21st Century—a six-week celebration of O’Neill’s works featuring productions from local, national and international groups like The Hypocrites, The Wooster Group, The Neo-Futurists, Companhia Triptal of Brazil and Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

2010 – Dennehy reprises his role in the Falls-directed Hughie, this time performing the play on a double bill with Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, directed by Jennifer Tarver.

2012 – Twenty-two years after playing Hickey in The Iceman Cometh, Dennehy takes on the role of Larry Slade in a new production, again directed by Falls and starring Nathan Lane in the role of Hickey. The production moves with its 19-member cast intact to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in 2015.

2017 – Goodman Producer and Artistic Associate Steve Scott directs Ah, Wilderness!


Buy tickets and learn more about Ah, Wilderness! here. Tickets start at just $25!