Eugene O’Neill’s classic play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” explores the dynamic of a family during the course of 24 hours, revealing that deep familial love can exist simultaneously with addiction and conflict. This month, WaltersWest Project and Fort Point Theatre Channel are shaking up the timeless story by producing it with an all black cast at Hibernian Hall March 17–April 4.
Dayenne Walters, who plays the female lead Mary Tyrone, said she was inspired to tackle the show because she’s always loved the script but doubted that as a black woman she would ever be cast in it. “Once you decide to do it with a black cast then you have to pull it apart. All of the family issues are universal, but what makes this particularly resonant with a black audience and black actors?” says Walters. “I think we’ve been discovering all of that as we go along.”
The production utilizes the original script (with the exception of Irish slurs) and is placed in the original 1912 setting. But the team has brought in movements and music from black culture. Keeping the production true to its original form is part of what makes this all-black version powerful. Here, people of color are being portrayed as an upper-middle class family dealing with their own issues, a side not often shown in media.
Read the entire article as it originally appeared in The Bay State Banner here.