Abstract

Recent scholarship has shown O'Neill's dramaturgy enacts a unique and deep probing of the nonhuman natural. This article explores how that probing resonates in American drama in O'Neill's wake, and explores echoes of O'Neill's pioneering theater in the realms of maritime environments, earthly pastorals, theological investigations of nature, and ecological exotica. Dramatists considered range from contemporaneous Provincetown Players collaborators to cutting-edge writers of the present day, including Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Elmer Rice, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, and others. While not claiming direct lines of influence between O'Neill and these writers and their creations, the article argues that many of his tropes and dramaturgical obsessions in this area resurface in conspicuous and enlightening fashion in American drama of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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