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All God's Chillun' Got Wings Critics' Pick Staff Pick

When: Sept. 18-20, 8 p.m. 2008
Price: $10, $30

For the ninth year running, the Eugene O'Neill Foundation is putting on its Eugene O'Neill Festival in Danville, where the playwright made his home late in life and wrote his classic final works. This year's fest focuses on the Irish-American writer's connection to the great African-American actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson, who starred several times in O'Neill's plays All God's Chillun Got Wingsand The Emperor Jones. The festival includes a screening of the 1933 Emperor Jones film on Saturday afternoon, a Robeson exhibition, and tours of downtown Danville and O'Neill's home Tao House. But the centerpiece is a production of All God's Chillun, the heartrending 1924 drama about the troubled marriage of a black man and a white woman a full generation before the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Michael J. Ashberry and Alexandra Matthew star in a production directed by Eric Frashier Hayes. September 18 to 21 at DanvilleVillage Theatre (233 Front St., Danville) or 925-820-1818.

— Sam Hurwitt


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