This show was produced from April 29-May 15, 2011
A Moon for the Misbegotten
By Eugene O’Neill
Directed By Randy Petersen
Susan Paschkes • Eric Pedersen • Ryan Walker • Kevin Doyle • Nick Groch
“South Camden Theatre Company’s production of MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN did justice to one of O’Neill’s most personal and difficult plays to perform. In what is often thought of as a “downer” of a play because of the subject matter, O’Neill gives us some chuckles by blending the real us with the hidden us. And, I came to appreciate the literary side of Eugene O’Neill’s genius once again.”
Set in a dilapidated Connecticut house in early September 1923, the play focuses on three characters: Josie, a domineering Irish woman with a quick tongue and a ruined reputation, her conniving father, tenant farmer Phil Hogan, and James Tyrone, Jr., Hogan’s landlord and drinking companion, a cynical alcoholic haunted by the death of his mother.
The play begins with Mike, the last of Hogan’s three sons, leaving the farm. As a joke during one of their drunken bouts, Tyrone threatens to sell his land to his hated neighbor, T. Steadman Harder, and evict Hogan. Hogan creates a scheme in which Josie will get Tyrone drunk, seduce him, and blackmail him. Josie and Tyrone court in the moonlight.
The scheme falls through when Josie finds out that Tyrone isn’t going to sell the land to Harder after all. Tyrone tells Josie the story of how, after his mother died, he traveled back East on the train and hired a blonde prostitute for $50 a night to overcome his grief.
The four-act play ends with James Tyrone leaving for New York to handle his mother’s estate, apparently to die soon of complications from alcoholism.
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Funding has been made possible in part by the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Camden County College, through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.