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In the Spotlight: Upcoming Events in the Theater

When we think of Eugene O’Neill, we tend to think of his cheerful, laugh-a-minute celebrations of life like The Iceman Cometh or A Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Though you might not know it, O’Neill also had a more serious side to his work. The Great God Brown, currently playing on the Loeb Mainstage, considers love, hatred, friendship, betrayal and the intensity of the human experience. Whew.

Visiting Director Marcus Stern (acclaimed for his recent stagings of Nocturne and The Ohio State Murders at the Hasty Pudding) guides an undergraduate cast through the nuances of adapting a script and tightening the focus of the production to regard the emotional masks we wear to hide ourselves from the world. The story is one of a boyhood friendship fractured by competition over a beautiful woman (ahhh...beautiful women). Reunited years later, the two men find themselves clinging to one another for survival even as try to destroy each other. All of the characters must wade through pain, suffering and isolation to find something that could pass for happiness.

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Set against the internal struggle between the world of business and the creative impulse, The Great God Brown tackles everyday issues like sex, self-loathing and murder. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterically funny, the show remains true to the spirit of O’Neill’s exploration of humanity while providing an outlet for intensly imaginative artistic expression.

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