Why Did James Houghton Leave The O’Neill?

James Houghton’s departure as artistic director of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Playwrights Conference took many by surprise. “The sudden resignation took the theatre community by surprise, coming just five weeks after Houghton’s decision, announced publicly Mon., Sept. 15, that the O’Neill would ‘suspend’ indefinitely its longstanding policy of open submissions, a move that quickly provoked discord in the national playwriting community. The resignation also came following the O’Neill’s receipt of a letter, written by a three-time Playwrights Conference alum, questioning Houghton’s claim that the decision was largely based on the state of the institution’s finances.”