About the project
The Addiction Performance Project presents dramatic readings of Act Three of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night as a catalyst for town hall discussions about substance abuse and addiction as they affect individuals, families, caregivers, and communities. This unique participatory event is intended to break down the stigma associated with addiction and promote healthy dialogue among diverse communities - public and professional - fostering compassion, cooperation, understanding, and positive action. The Addiction Performance Project was originally developed with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
About the play
Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'neill
Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night depicts the struggles of Mary Tyrone, a woman who abuses prescription painkillers and relapses into full-blown morphine addiction. It is also the story of how Mary's addiction rips her family apart, as her morphine use slowly becomes apparent to her husband and two sons. It is widely believed that Long Day's Journey into Night is an autobiographical play, and that the troubled characters in it are based on members of O'Neill's own family, including his mother, Ella, who struggled with morphine addiction for most of her life. In his dedication of the play to his wife Carlotta, O'Neill states that it is a "play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood," and that he wrote it "with deep pity and understanding and forgiveness for all the four haunted Tyrones." O'Neill wrote the play for personal reasons, and the Addiction Performance Project present the plays to diverse audiences to elicit personal responses and candid discussion about addiction.
Addiction Performance Project Highlights
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Short Documentary
Washington, DC / 2011
Actors perform for medical students and faculty
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ / 2011
Bryan Doerries, Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, and Marjolaine Goldsmith perform scenes from Long Day's Journey into Night
Fort Rucker, AL / 2016
Consent & Sexual ViolenceTape
Tape has been developed as a sexual assault awareness and prevention training program that uses dramatic readings of Stephen Belber’s 1999 play to ignite powerful discussions about consent, sexual assault, rape, and power dynamics.
Caregiving & DeathKing Lear Project
The King Lear Project presents streamlined readings of scenes from Shakespeare’s King Lear to engage diverse audiences—including older adults, caregivers, and family members—in open, healing, constructive, discussions about the challenges of aging, dementia, and caring for friends and loved ones.
Pandemic & Climate CrisisThe Oedipus Project
The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions that will present acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the world. Sophocles’ ancient play, written and performed in 429 BC during the time of a plague that killed one-third of the Athenian population, is a timeless story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, and a pestilence that ravages the city of Thebes. At the time the play was first performed, the audience would have been reeling in the wake of a pestilence and its economic, political, and social aftermath. Seen through this lens Oedipus the King appears to have been a powerful public health tool for helping Athenians communalize the trauma of the plague, through a story that is as relevant now as it was in its own time.