W ho Do es Lit t Le b ut L i sten Playing O' n eill's Hug Hie Peter Maloney My father was a storyteller, famous within his circle of family and friends, and I grew up hearing, now and again over the years, about the night he nearly killed Eugene O'Neill. The tales with which Father entertained us usually had to do with the passage of one Maloney or another from Irish immigrant to New England mill foreman to (in his father's case) Dartmoutheducated statesman. He would also go on about his own childhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and his life in the theater in the early years of the twentieth century. A proverbial black sheep, Father gave up on formal education halfway through high school. Dropping his surname, so as not to be confused with his lawyer/legislator father, he became, in a daring act of selfinvention, David Keating, actor. It was during a season of summer stock on Nantucket that he had his encounter with O'Neill.1 The year was 1925. After performing in Shaw's Candida with the Nantucket Players, he had partied with fellow cast members (including Burgess Meredith, who was playing Marchbanks) and was heading home
Eugene O'Neill Review – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 11, 2013
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