Not about nightingales

by Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983.

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3545.I5365 N66 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3545.I5365 N66 1998
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction PLAYPAM NOT
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  PLAYPAM NOT
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 812.54 W67
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  812.54 W67
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 812 W
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  812 W
In early 1998, sixty years after it was written, one of Tennessee Williams' first full-length plays, Not About Nightingales, was premiered by Britain's Royal National Theatre and was immediately hailed as "one of the most remarkable theatrical discoveries of the last quarter century (London Evening Standard). Brought to the attention of the director Trevor Nunn by the actress Vanessa Redgrave (who has contributed a Foreword to this edition), "this early work...changed our perception of a major writer and still packs a hefty political punch" (London Independent). Written in 1938 and based on an actual newspaper story, the play follows the events of a prison atrocity which shocked the nation: convicts leading a hunger strike in a Pennsylvania prison were locked in a steam-heated cell and roasted to death. Williams later said: "I have never written anything since that could compete with it in violence and horror." Its sympathetic treatment of black and homosexual characters may have kept the play unproduced in its own time. But its flashes of lyricism and compelling dialogue presage the great plays Williams has yet to write. Not About Nightingales shows us the young playwright (for the first time using his signature "Tennessee") as a political writer, passionate about social injustice, and reflecting the plight of outcasts in Depression America. The stylistic influences of European Expressionism, radical American theatre of the 1930s, and popular film make it unique among the group of four early plays. Not About Nightingales has been edited by eminent Williams scholar Allean Hale, who has also provided an illuminating historical introduction.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Written in 1938 when Williams was 27, still living at home and a good six years away from Broadway, Not about Nightingales is as much writing exercise as fully realized drama. It lacks the originality and depth of The Glass Menagerie, written only a few years later, and his later masterworks. Nevertheless, it is of considerable interest, not least because it was inspired by a real occurrence in which several unruly prisoners were cooked alive as punishment. And after all, it is Williams' first full-length play and first play written under the pen name Tennessee, and it sufficiently impressed Elia Kazan of the Group Theater, to which Williams sent it in response to a playwriting contest, that he introduced Williams to the New York agent Audrey Wood, who would make his career. Reading the play, most of which is in the thuddingly obvious politically conscious style of Depression-era theater, one notices in brief, brilliant passages and in the intensity of his characters the Williams to come. And that makes it worthwhile. --Jack Helbig"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Hunger strikes -- United States -- Drama.
Prisoners -- United States -- Drama.
Prisons -- United States -- Drama.
Publisher New York :New Directions Pub. Corp.,1998
Contributors Hale, Allean, 1914-2015
Language English
Notes "A New Directions paperbook original NDP860"--P. 4 of cover.
Description xxvi, 163 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 0811213803 (acid-free paper)
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