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Celebrating the O'Neill centennial.

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.

Stage productions that mark centennial

San Francisco. American Conservatory Theater, 450 Geary Street; 673-6440. Marco Millions, October and November (exact dates not set at our press time). At 3 Pm. October 16, the O'Neill foundation and ACT present a centennial benefit ($10) with O'Neill selections performed by ACT, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Repertory and the Magic theaters, and Just So Productions. Reserve through ACT.

City College of San Francisco, City Theater, 50 Phelan Avenue; 239-3132. September 16 through November 13, the Mourning Becomes Electra trilogy is in repertory.

Danville. Veteran's Memorial Building, 120 S. Hartz Avenue. At noon October 6, free lunchtime selections from O'Neill sea plays; at noon October 13, performance of sea chanteys. For details, call The O'Neill foundation, 820-1818.

Lafayette. The Dramateurs, School Street and Moraga Way; 283-2040. October 7 through November 5, Anna Christie.

Hayward. California State University, Main Stage Theater; 881-3118 or 881-3261. November 17 through 26, The Great God Brown.
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Title Annotation:Eugene O'Neill
Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1988
Words:351
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