The PopCulteer
June 12, 2020

VirtuALL FestivALL kicks off online Sunday, and our plan is to bring you at least one post per day that will spotlight what’s happening that day with the pandemic era version of Charleston’s annual arts festival, plus we’ll flash back to our videos of previous years’ of FestivALL and also have an entry in our online art gallery of the best of Monday Morning Art.

However, one other cool event timed to VirtuALL FestivALL is The Eugene O’Neill Project, which will come into our homes courtesy of The Alban Arts Center.

This is a virtual theatre event that you will be able to watch starting June 14 at 3PM, with additional showings the following five days. The price to watch it online is ten dollars. We will present excerpts of the press release with our own take below.

But first, take a look at this trailer…

The Eugene O’Neill Project is a selection of Eugene O’Neill scenes from three of his Pulitzer Prize winning plays: Beyond the Horizon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and Anna Christie. The Eugene O’Neill Project explores the American family through the lens of addiction, attraction, and monumental loss. Our talented and dynamic cast will weave a series of seemingly unrelated characters and scenarios to reveal thematic patterns.

A few years ago Mrs. PopCulteer and I saw The Tennesee Williams Project at the Alban, also directed by Leah Turley, and it was a wonderful evening that offered a sampler of of lesser-known works by one of the great American playwrights.

Turely is back at the helm for The Eugene O’Neill Project, and is also essentially taking on the mantle of directing it for television.The Alban elaborates:

While we wish we could welcome audiences into The Alban, we can’t, in good conscience traditionally produce theatre. So we’re going non traditional! We built a set, got our costumes, and rehearsed our show just like a normal production but instead of an audience we turned our tech crew into a video production team. The play will be performed like traditional theatre, with no cuts or fancy edits. Instead the director, Leah Turley, turned herself into a live video producer and told her camera team where to go and when, and she made all the switches between shots in real time during the performance. Just like live television. While it’s definitely not traditional theatre, we are very excited to share this new way of producing theatre with you, and we hope you are just as happy with the production that we created as we are. When you buy a “ticket” you will get a digital link the day of the show that will allow you to watch the final product that day only. So make sure you buy a ticket for a day that you will be able to watch the performance as the link for each day will expire at midnight.

You can buy your tickets HERE, and visit the Alban Arts Center website for more details.

The O’Neill Project spans more than 30 years of Eugene O’Neill’s prolific playwriting career: Anna Christie premiered in 1921, Beyond the Horizon in 1918, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 1956. The episodic structure of The O’Neill Project is meant to reacquaint old fans with the playwright’s rich dialogue and distinctive voice and welcome new audiences to sample three of the best American plays ever written. This unique collection of scenes is thoughtful, suspenseful, and heartfelt.

It’s a testament to the creativity of the crew at The Alban Arts Center that they have found a way to adapt what was to have been a live production of O’Neill’s Long Days Journey Into Night into a new form that can be safely enjoyed by audiences during our current pandemic situation.

Later this month, The Alban will present another online event with A Wrinkle In Time. Both shows give you a great way to support live theater, even at a time where it can’t be performed “live.”

That is this week’s PopCulteer. I want to thank my loyal readers who were patient this week while the blog dealt with technical issues. Thanks also to Ron Phillips at HD Media for quickly sorting things out yesterday afternoon. Oh, and the photos and video for this post are courtesy of The Alban Arts Center.

Things are back to whatever passes for normal now, and we still have fresh content every day, and intend to double our efforts to support VirtuALL FestivALL starting this Sunday.