Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI)

Journey Beyond Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Course Number


Study Group Leader (SGL)

Steve Bloom


This course will be held in the BOLLI Gathering Space (a 58’ x 32’ room) with a maximum enrollment of 24. The Gathering Space will be equipped with two HEPA air purifiers.

10-Week Course

Feb. 28 - May 8. No Class April 24.


This study group will combine a deep dive into one of the great American family dramas, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill, with the study of a brand new play called Thirst, by Ronan Noone, a clever “spin-off” from O’Neill’s play, which will be in production at the Lyric Stage in Boston this spring. Thirst focuses on the household help working in the Tyrone summer home as the action of Long Day’s Journey proceeds offstage. We will read and discuss Long Day’s Journey Into Night before reading and discussing Thirst, and then we will see and discuss the Lyric Stage production of Thirst. We will consider the text of that new play on its own merits, how it relates to O’Neill’s drama, and how it plays in production. We will then continue our study of the rich dramaturgical, psychological, sociological, and existential issues raised by Long Day’s Journey Into Night with the added perspective of at least one film version of the play. The class will be primarily given in person, although 3 – 4 sessions will be on Zoom. All study group members must see the Lyric Stage production, at their own expense, most likely a matinee performance on March 16th or 17th. Discount tickets will be available. Further details will be provided  before the term begins.

Group Leadership Style

More facilitated discussion than lecture

Course Materials

Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Yale University Press, 2002 ISBN: 0300093055 ISBN: 9780300093056, Ronan Noone, Thirst Available for $15 on TRW Plays: Film: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, directed by Sidney Lumet, 1962, available for rental on Prime Video.

Preparation Time

30 minutes to 2 hours per week.


Steve Bloom is Professor Emeritus, English, at Lasell University in Newton, where he was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs when he retired in June 2020. Steve earned his PhD (and MA) in English and American Literature from Brandeis and his BA in English from the University of Rochester. Steve has published two books and many articles and reviews on Eugene O’Neill, spoken frequently at Boston-area theatres and other forums on O’Neill and other modern dramatists. Throughout his academic career, he has taught senior adult learners as well as traditional college-age students. Steve has been a BOLLI study group leader since Fall 2021.