Mourning Becomes Electra

Play

Writers: Eugene O'Neill

Overview

Show Information

Category
Play
Number of Acts
13
First Produced
1931
Genres
Drama
Settings
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
New England, 1865, 1866
Cast Size
large
Licensor
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, elderly characters

Synopsis

A trilogy of tragic plays inspired by Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy, Mourning Becomes Electra is Eugene O’Neill’s tragic masterpiece, rivaled only by Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Set in New England at the time of the American Civil War, Mourning Becomes Electra follows the cursed and corrupt Mannon family. Lavinia Mannon, at odds with her mother Christine, is waiting for her father, General Ezra Mannon, to return from the war, which is nearing its end. But as the United States is beginning its reconciliation, Lavinia’s family is fracturing under the arrogance of the General, the duplicity of Christine, and the hatred of Lavinia. Deep family secrets rise to the surface, and in the turmoil and torment, murder seems to be the only answer. A tapestry of psychological conflict, Mourning Becomes Electra investigates not only the causes of familial tragedy, but also the effects of revenge and retribution on its survivors.

Lead Characters