Beyond the Horizon

Beyond the Horizon
   The first full-length play by Eugene O'Neill to reach Broadway, where it won O'Neill the first of four Pulitzer Prizes, Beyond the Horizon was, to some extent, a culmination of themes and characters O'Neill had explored in his one-act plays during the preceding decade. It opened in a series of tryout matinees, but postive response from critics and the efforts of actor Richard Bennett (who played Rob Mayo) led to a regular run. Directed by Homer Saint-Gaudens, it opened on 3 February 1920 at the Morosco Theatre for 111 performances. Two brothers, Rob and Andrew Mayo, living on a hardscrabble New England farm, vie for the love of Ruth. Andrew wants no more than to be a farmer and to marry Ruth, but she prefers Rob, an aspiring artist longing to leave the farm and see what lies "beyond the horizon." However, Rob stays on the farm with Ruth and the rejected Andrew leaves instead. This reversal of destinies leads to tragic outcomes for both brothers as seen in three acts set five years apart. In 1920, many critics and audience members recognized that O'Neill's play was the true beginning of a serious, modern American drama. Beyond the Horizon was revived in 1927 by the Actors Theatre featuring Robert Keith,* Thomas Chalmers, and Aline MacMahon.* A 1975 revival was broadcast on public television.*

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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