Magazine article Sunset

Celebrating the O'Neill Centennial

Magazine article Sunset

Celebrating the O'Neill Centennial

Article excerpt

He was already famous when he came to live in the tawny East Bay hills. Eugene O'Neill wanted his Danville, California, aerie, the Tao House, to be a workplace sheltered from publicity's glare. And here he wrote his greatest plays, among them Long Day's Journey Into Night.

For the centennial of O'Neill's birth (October 16, 1888), the Tao House, now a national historic site, honors the writerand a half-dozen Bay Area productions honor his plays.

You can visit Tao House in a 1/2-hour tour that begins in Danville; a van takes you up to the Spanish colonial O'Neill and his wife Carlotta built in 1937. The house is redolent of a work-driven life, though there were amusements a Wurlitzer player piano dubbed Rosie, a beloved dalmatian called Blemie. Outside, the courtyard has been restored to tbe O'Neills' original plans. (A 1953 Sunset article on this courtyard lauded remodeling done by later owners and dismissed the original design: "The space . . . was divided into several small, unusable areas." We hereby apologize. It's a nice courtyard.)

Tours (free) are at 10 A.M. and 1:30 Pm. Wednesdays through Sundays. For reservations, call (415) 838-0249. …

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