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BY Eugene O'Neill

Man is born broken. He lives by mending.

The Great God Brown

From the tortured soul of a brilliant playwright comes his most revealing play about himself.  Eugene ONeill's The Great God Brown will be presented on the McGinnis stage April 24-29.

William (Billy) Brown is a successful but inferior architect. His life-long friend, Dion Anthony, is a gifted artist but a drunken, dissolute womanizer.  Both are in love with Margaret. She chooses Dion with his sensual, cynical mask. But when he reveals himself as deeply spiritual and sensitive, she is repulsed. Unable to realize his artistic potential, Dion sinks into self-destruction and dies. Billy, envious of Dion's talent, steals his identity. Billy eventually is accused of his own murder and is killed by police, while Margaret continues to worship the image of Dion.

Brooks Atkinson's New York Times review of 1926 stated: "… he has placed within the reach of the stage finer shades of beauty, more delicate nuances of truth and more passionate qualities of emotion than we can discover in any other single modern play.  The symbolism inherent in all his plays is now carried to its ultimate conclusion; dramatic substance is spun into fragile bands of meaning; the abstract conflicts of life are transmuted and thrice refined.

"I love that play," O'Neill declared of The Great God Brown, which remained one of his favorites. Perhaps his fondness derived from the subjective, autobiographical nature of Dion who expresses O'Neill's search for spiritual certainty, as well as his physical qualities and his bitterness.  Perhaps O'Neill's liking sprang from the expressionistic device of the masks, which makes the play one of his strangest and most experimental.

Tickets are $12.50 and $10 youth/student and are available online at and by calling (252) 328-6829. 



Performance Schedule







Apr 24

Apr 25

Apr 26

Apr 27

Apr 28

Apr 29








Box Office

Non-Performance Days Performance Days

Monday - Friday
10:00am - 4:00pm

Monday - Friday
10:00am- Curtain



The ECU/Loessin Playhouse is produced by the School of Theatre and Dance - an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre - College of Fine Arts and Communication, East Carolina University.

All patrons require a ticket, regardless of age. Children under the age of 5 are not allowed at Playhouse productions unless specifically noted otherwise. Parental discretion is always advised and the judgment of the content of each show should be made on an individual basis prior to purchase. Dates and titles are subject to change

All sales are final; no refunds. If you have purchased tickets for a performance you are unable to attend you should call the box office at least 24 hours in advance to exchange. Exchanges are not possible once the performance has taken place. If you did not exchange tickets in advance, you may wait in the lobby until just before the performance has begun and the House Manager will show you to available seating.

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Programs, dates, and times are subject to change.

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.