Voglino, Barbara 1940–

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Voglino, Barbara 1940–


Born June 4, 1940, in Orange, NJ; daughter of Arthur D. (an accountant) and Wanda Schwarz; married James T. Voglino, 1962; children: James, Anthony, Michael. Ethnicity: "White, of Polish/ German ancestry." Education: Rutgers University, B.A. (with honors), 1962; William Paterson College of New Jersey, M.A., 1975; Fordham University, Ph.D., 1998.

Religion: Roman Catholic.


Home—Wayne, NJ; and Key Biscayne, FL.


Schoolteacher in Irvington, NJ, 1962-64; Fairleigh Dickinson University, Wayne Campus, Wayne, NJ, adjunct professor, 1976; William Paterson College of New Jersey, Wayne, adjunct professor, 1981-84.


Modern Language Association of America, Eugene O'Neill Society, Phi Beta Kappa.


Fellowship, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 1983; grant from Bergen County Office of Cultural and Historic Affairs, 1984.


The Red Table (three-act play), produced in Paramus, NJ, at Bergen County Community College Theater, 1985.

"Perverse Mind": Eugene O'Neill's Struggle with Closure, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Madison, NJ), 1999.

Other plays include Myrtle and the White Marigold, Breakthrough, Progeny, and The Switch. Contributor to Eugene O'Neill Review.


Barbara Voglino once told CA: "I trace my activity as a dramatist back to my childhood. I remember disliking the baby dolls the other little girls played with. Instead I preferred ‘pretty girl’ dolls, which facilitated my favorite form of solitary play—acting out princess or fairy tale stories, which I invented or improved upon as I moved my dolls. My desire to write drama probably originated with the profoundly moving presentation of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, starring Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards, Jr., at the Morosco Theater in New York in 1974. It was after seeing this remarkable drama that I realized I wanted to write plays that expose the very heartstrings of the human experience.

"Occasionally I begin my plays with an idea, as in Progeny, which originated from a fear of human cloning. Most often, however, I begin my writing with people I know or have known (The Red Table is about my parents), whom I place in different situations (as I once did my dolls). As I write (and rewrite), I begin to hear the characters talking. Thus character and dialogue come easily to me. Plotting, particularly the endings, requires much more work.

"My book ‘Perverse Mind’: Eugene O'Neill's Struggle with Closure, which began as my doctoral study at Fordham, was a labor of love. Having experienced my own paralysis in ending a play upon which I had labored for three years (Breakthrough), I was able to empathize with O'Neill's self-acknowledged struggle with closure over his thirty-year career as a dramatist. In my book I vigorously pursue the technical and psychological causes of the flawed endings of O'Neill's early and midperiod plays, as well as the means by which he overcame the difficulties in his late period of greatness. I believe this critical study, the writing of which has already proved useful to my own creative endeavors, is capable of benefiting not only O'Neill enthusiasts but other dramatists and literary artists as well."



Choice, April, 2000, review of "Perverse Mind": Eugene O'Neill's Struggle with Closure, p. 1471.

Eugene O'Neill Review, spring-fall, 1999, review of "Perverse Mind," pp. 154-156.