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Tennessee Williams and Cat on Hot Tin Roof

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					Tennessee Williams &
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof




                Time-line date:
                    1950
         Thomas Lanier Williams
              1911-1983
 Born  Mississippi
 Difficult childhood; wrote often
 Attended U. of Missouri
 Graduated from U. of Iowa 1938
        Tennessee Williams cont’d
 1939   changed name
 Screenwriter   for MGM
 Wrote plays, stories,
 poetry, essays
 Won  Pulitzer Prize 2
 times; NY Drama Critic
 Circle Award 4 times
           Selected Plays
 The Glass Menagerie – 1944
 A Streetcar Named Desire – 1947
 Rose Tattoo – 1951
 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – 1955
 Orpheus Descending – 1957
 Night of the Iguana -- 1961
 Contributions to American Drama
 One  of big 3 in 20th c. American Drama
 Broke away from European theater –
  beyond “theater of exhaustian”
 Shocked audiences
 Sets and props become symbolically
  important
 Fascinating characters/dialogue
        Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
 Setin south in 50’s: conformist culture
 Myth of Southern gentility
 Homosexuality in the 1950s
 Characters:
          Big Daddy m. Big Mama

     Grooper m. Mae       Brick m. Maggie
           5+kids
            Cat continued
 Altered Broadway ending
 Film version 1958
                  Themes
 Relationships
 Love
 Sexuality
 Alcohol
 Communication
 Lies
             Look for

Allusions
Props  as symbols
Characters verbal statements
 vs. inner thoughts/feelings
Character development of lack
 thereof
      Reading the play

Opening    stage directions
Occasion:    Big Daddy’s
 birthday
Opening    conversation
On to the play . . .

				
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