Diff'rentby Eugene O'Neill
directed by Jef Hall-Flavin
starring McNeely Myers
with Beau & Tony Jackett
Provincetown Theater CompanyProvincetown, Massachusetts
"...fascinating and impeccably produced here,
with sure direction by Hall-Flavin and strong performances by everyone in his cast..."
-- Cape Cod Times download review
"What a gift it is to be able to see a play by O'Neill...
and you are a fool if you miss the chance to see it here."
-- Provincetown Magazine download review
First performed in 1920, Diff’rent is the personal tragedy of a girl named Emma, who turns from an idealistic virgin at age 20, to a sex-starved fool at 50.
Diff’rent was revived in 1940 in Provincetown at the Artists’ Theatre (which opened after the Playhouse on the Wharf burned down in February of that year). Notably, it is the only play for which we have a record of Tennessee Williams attending in Provincetown.
Set in a small New England fishing port, Emma is engaged to a promising young whaling captain named Caleb, whom she insists is a cut above all the other rough-and-tumble men in town. When forced to confess that he had an unwitting dalliance with a woman on a recent voyage, Emma refuses to marry Caleb on principle. 30 years later, we find an emotionally stunted middle-aged Emma clamoring over a ne’er-do-well neighbor boy like a grotesque flirt. The steadfast Caleb, still unmarried, is pushed to the brink by Emma’s uncompromising and shocking behavior.
O’Neill himself describes the play as a “tale of the eternal, romantic idealist who is in all of us—the eternally defeated one.” Diff’rent can be said to be a cautionary tale about sexual repression and lack of compromise. It is a treatise on the abyss between what we hope to be, and the reality of what we are.
The connection between Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill can be traced to the very heart of Provincetown. The production is directed by the Festival Director, Jef Hall-Flavin, and comes to us by way of the Provincetown Theater Company, who carry on the theatrical legacy of Provincetown.
In keeping with the original Provincetown Players, this production will take place overlooking Provincetown Harbor, and will star "Cape Cod's answer to Meryl Streep," (NY Times 2006) McNeely Myers.