The Great God Brown
First Staged:
Greenwich Village Theatre, New York 1926

The Great God Brown

By Eugene O'Neill

A demonstration of O'Neill's expressionistic experimentation with masks to emphasise the distinction between characters, and the lack of understanding in human relationships.

Dion Anthony is joyful, sensual, and creative – on the outside, but when he removes his mask to reveal his haunted loneliness, his wife Margaret ceases to love or understand him. Dion's best friend, William Brown, has always admired Dion's capacity for giving and receiving love, especially Margaret's. Now Brown's need to protect has become a need to possess, and so when Dion dies Brown assumes his mask, his family and his wife. But to really become Dion Anthony, Brown has to kill William Brown – the William Brown beneath the mask.

Eugene O'Neill's play The Great God Brown was first performed at Greenwich Village Theater, New York, in January 1926. Its UK premiere was at the Festival Theatre, Cambridge, in 1932, and it was later performed at Westminster Theatre, London, in December 1938.

Also by Eugene O'Neill:

All God's Chillun Got Wings
Strange Interlude
Desire Under the Elms & The Great God Brown
Mourning Becomes Electra
Desire Under the Elms
The Hairy Ape & All God's Chillun Got Wings
A Moon for the Misbegotten
A Touch of the Poet
Ah! Wilderness
The Hairy Ape
Long Day's Journey into Night
The Emperor Jones
The Iceman Cometh
Anna Christie & The Emperor Jones: two plays
Anna Christie

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