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Some Thoughts on Playwriting, from Eugene O’Neill

October 2, 2013

[I have taken the liberty of transposing the name of his character “Yank” from his play “The Hairy Ape” (1924) with that of Captain Mackenzie from my own “Articles of War: The Somers Affair” (2013)]

“Mackenzie is really yourself, and myself. He is every human being. But, apparently very few people seem to get this. They have written, picking out one thing or another in the play, ‘how true’ it is. But no one has said ‘I am Mackenzie. Mackenzie is my own self.’

“Yet that is what I meant him to be. His struggle to ‘belong,’ to find the thread that will make him a part of the fabric of life—we are all struggling to do just that. One idea I had in writing the play was to show that the missing thread, literally ‘the tie that binds,’ is understanding one another.

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