Ah, Wilderness! is one of the few comedies ever written by Eugene O’Neill. It represents a strong departure from his usual gritty family dramas in that it depicts a loving family in turn of the century Connecticut. Wilderness! is a feel-good coming-of-age story about young Richard Miller, whose romantic woes shape the play. When Richard is prevented from dating his neighbor Muriel, he goes on a drunken bender and attempts to woo the more worldly-wise Belle. Eventually Uncle Sid intervenes, brings the boy home, and puts everything right again.
Ah, Wilderness! Is a portrait of middle-class America at the beginning of the twentieth century. O’Neill is reported to have written it in under a month, and after its initial publication enjoyed a very successful reception. It was produced on Broadway and was also adapted into a film starring Mickey Rooney. Since then, Ah, Wilderness! has become known as a beloved staple of the community theater scene across the country.