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Playwright Eugene O’Neill’s tale of love and teenage angst staged

Ah, Wilderness, playwright Eugene O’Neill’s tale of youth, love and teenage angst, will be presented by the Department of Dance and Theatre beginning Nov. 6.

The story - O'Neill's only comedy - is about a 16-year-old boy who has fallen passionately in love with the girl next door, only to have his love thwarted by her father. With the help of his family, young Richard gets through the joys and trials of puppy love.

Eugene O'Neill playwright"What you discover at the end of this play is what the father says in the play - that we are surrounded by love," said director Francis Fuselier, adjunct professor of theatre. "They argue; they fight; they have difficulties. But in the end, they love each other regardless."

Ah Wilderness is a rare O’Neill, right, comedy. He is best known for plays about tragedy, pessimism and dysfunctional relationships, including A Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh and Mourning Becomes Electra. O’Neill was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1936, and received the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1920, 1922, 1928 and 1957.

"The play came to him (O’Neill) in a dream," said Fuselier. "As he says, this play is what he wished his adolescence had been, rather than what it actually was. It is our idealized vision of what the perfect American family in the early 1900s would be like."

The set is designed to create a hazy, romantic feeling, which Fusilier likens to remembering an old photograph.  

O'Neill's comedy will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 4-6, and Nov. 11-13, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and Nov. 14. All performances will be in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building, University Theatre.

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the 8 p.m. Nov. 13 performance. Send an e-mail to InHouse with “Wilderness” in the subject line by 5 p.m. Nov. 5. Winners will be selected at random from all responses.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7.50 for students, UNT faculty and staff members and seniors. Call 940-565-2428.

Below, Ah, Wilderness student cast members Meg Ziegelbein and Dustin Simington.

Ah Wilderness rehearsal

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