Eugene O'Neill Award

The Eugene O'Neill Award (also known as The Eugene O'Neill Scholarship Award or The Eugene O'Neill Acting Award), is one of Sweden's finest awards for stage actors. Established by the American playwright Eugene O'Neill, it was first awarded in 1956.

Just before Eugene O'Neill died in 1953 he drew up a will in which he gave the then not yet staged play Long Day's Journey Into Night (written in 1941) to the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Sweden's national theatre, along with exclusive first performance rights. The gesture was as thanks for Dramaten's continued interest in staging his plays (more so than any other theatre in the world), and for the Swedes' appreciation of his work long before he became recognized internationally, or in his home country (O'Neill was also the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936). Later on, his widow Carlotta Monterey O'Neill also gave Dramaten the performing rights to A Touch of the Poet (written in 1942), Hughie and More Stately Mansions. She refused staging fees for his plays in Sweden, provided that 8% of the royalties from the revenues of each performance were given to the Eugene O'Neill Memory Fund, which manages the money for the scholarship award.

The award is bestowed annually on the 16th of October (O'Neill's birthday) and is, according to O'Neill's own wishes, given to "highly deserving actors of Dramaten". Recipients of the award are decided by Dramaten's board of directors.

The prize money currently consists of SEK 30,000 (approximately 4,000 USD).

As an extra honour to Eugene O'Neill, the first award was granted to the two actors who played the leading parts of James and Mary Tyrone in the original staging of Long Day's Journey Into Night at Dramaten in February 1956; Lars Hanson and Inga Tidblad - already legendary thespians of the Swedish stage since the early 1920s and most definitely "highly deserving actors".

Throughout the years it has continued to be given to Sweden's finest theatre actors.



  1. "Dramaten - press release". Cision Wire. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
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