Degas in New Orleans

by  Rosary Hartel O'Neill

Full Length Play, Drama  /  5m, 6f

Heralded by Southern Repertory Theatre as a star of their 25 year season, Degas in New Orleans explores the inner turmoil and conflict of Edgar Degas, the great French Impressionist painter, as he visits his New Orleans family to pursue painting but tumbles into bankruptcy and adultery.

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Degas in New Orleans

by  Rosary Hartel O'Neill

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 6f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Heralded by Southern Repertory Theatre as a star of their 25 year season, Degas in New Orleans explores the inner turmoil and conflict of Edgar Degas, the great French Impressionist painter, as he visits his New Orleans family to pursue painting but tumbles into bankruptcy and adultery. Edgar Degas must choose between passion and painting. This riveting play is inspired by true events in the life of Edgar Degas and is set in scandalous post Civil War Louisiana. Parlor/gallery of the old Civil War house provides poetic staging opportunities.

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Accolades

  • Winner! VCCA Award to Au Vilar France
    Winner! Sewannee Writers Fellowship
    Winner! Squaw Valley Fellowship
    Winner! Invitation to Contemporary Theatre, London
    Finalist! University Interscholastic League Texas competition for new plays

Reviews

REVIEWS 

"Intriguing and memorable...Degas in New Orleans creates a new vista for understanding Edgar Degas’s life and work." - Carole Di Tosti, All Along the NYC Skyline, Read More 

'Read more about the developments of Degas in New Orleans in the November 2016 posting of All Along the NYC Skyline here.

Check out Rosary's interview with the Consulate General of France in Lousiana on Degas in New Orleans here

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER

Playwright Rosary Hartel O'Neil Reflects on Paris
by Meagan Meehan
December 8, 2016 

Playwright Rosary O'Neil Soars in Paris
by Meagan Meehan
October 14, 2016

In Conversation: Rosary O'Neil's Degas in New Orleans
by Meagan Meehan
May 18, 2017

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: American Civil War Era, Victorian (British and American), 19th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting:

    We are in a two-story rental house on 2306 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. It is 1872. A double parlor with the remnants of grandeur: a glittering chandelier, an elegant tattered sofa, a mahogany desk, and a high-back chair. To the right, two floor-to ceiling windows open onto a galley; to the left, a door to the pantry. Upstage two matching parlor doors lead offstage to an unseen staircased grand hallway that connects the upstairs, and the front and rear of the house. Outside we hear the clanging of a random mule-drawn streetcar. One possibility, throughout the play is to have Degas’ paintings or the rapturous colors within them projected onto the rear wall, enriching the bleak setting with their transparent blues, pinks, and violets.

  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

5m, 6f
EDGAR DEGAS - 38; the famous painter.
RENE DEGAS - 27; Edgar’s brother.
ESTELLE MUSSON BALFOUR DEGAS (TELL) - 29; René’s wife.
DESIREE MUSSON (DIDI) - 34; Tell’s sister.
MATHILDE MUSSON BELL - 31; Tell’s sister.
MICHEL MUSSON - 60; Tell’s father.
JOSEPHINE BALFOUR (JO) - 10; Tell’s daughter.
AMERICA DURRIVE OLIVIER - 24; a neighbor.
EMILY CUCKOW RILLIEUX - 45; a cousin; of mixed race; brown skin.
MAN #1 (WILL BELL) - Husband of Mathilde; funeral collector; soldier.
MAN #2 - Mendicant; servant; soldier.
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Cast Attributes

  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

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Authors

Rosary Hartel O'Neill

Rosary Hartel O’Neill is the author of 25 plays, 18 published by Samuel French, Inc., and three books of nonfiction. The fourth edition of her text The Actor’s Checklist, is used in schools nationwide. Her book The Director As Artist will be published in a second edition in 2018. Her book New Orleans Carnival Krewes: ...

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