skip navigation | text only | accessibility | site map

[Tennessee Williams Explored] [A Street Car Named Desire] [Cat on a Hot Tin Roof] [The Glass Menagerie] [Five by Tenn] [Letters from Tennessee: A Distant Country Called Youth]


The unquestioned highlight of the 2003-2004 theater season will be Tennessee Williams Explored — a unique celebration designed to showcase the work of this great American playwright and Kennedy Center Honoree. In the spring and summer of 2004, brand new Center productions of his greatest works — Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie, and A Streetcar Named Desire — will be mounted in the Eisenhower Theater. Please check this page often for updates.
 
[A Street Car Named Desire]
[ Photo for A Streetcar Named Desire. ]

May 8 - May 30, 2004
Set against the steamy backdrop of New Orleans’ gritty French Quarter, Tennessee Williams’s 1947 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama tells the story of Blanche Dubois, a faded Southern belle driven to madness by her animalistic brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Taking refuge from her crumbling past, the fragile yet determined Blanche arrives unexpectedly at her married sister Stella’s doorstep, hoping for a better life and restoration of her senses. But her childlike helplessness, romantic yearnings, and genteel illusions are no match for the squalor of her new surroundings, the oppressive summer heat, and Stanley’s growing lustful rage. The combination of these brutish forces inevitably triggers Blanche’s mental and moral disintegration, making A Streetcar Named Desire one of Williams’s most electrifying and absorbing theatrical masterpieces.
Part of Tennessee Williams Explored

[buy ticket][more details]
 
[Cat on a Hot Tin Roof]
[Cat on a Hot Tin Roof]

June 12 - July 4, 2004
Charged with verbal pyrotechnics, savage humor, and sexual friction, this Pulitzer Prize–winning drama is Tennessee Williams’s explosive portrait of a Mississippi family jeopardized by hypocrisy, avarice, and hidden desires. In Big Daddy’s house, nothing is as it seems. The overbearing millionaire is dying of cancer, yet he firmly believes he’s in perfect health. His oldest son Gooper and daughter-in-law Mae secretly scheme to secure their inheritance. Meanwhile, his favorite son Brick, a dejected former football star, climbs inside a whisky bottle for solace, threatening his marriage to the sensuous Maggie. As Maggie “the Cat” fights to win back her husband and preserve the family fortune, Big Daddy learns the painful truth about his illness—and the shocking secret behind Brick’s sullen and abusive behavior.
Part of Tennessee Williams Explored

[buy ticket][more details]
 
[The Glass Menagerie]
[The Glass Menagerie]

July 17 - August 8, 2004
The first play to establish Tennessee Williams as a major new playwright and Broadway success, The Glass Menagerie is a compelling story of a St. Louis family struggling to cope with the harsh realities of the Great Depression and the bitter memories that haunt them. Revealed in flashback, the play follows the lives of shoe factory worker Tom, torn between his role as the family breadwinner and the desire to lead a life of his own…his abrasive mother Amanda, once a grand Southern socialite, now trying to maintain her dignity amidst the gloom of the tenement…and Tom’s frail sister Laura, who has retreated to an imaginary world caring for her collection of glass animals. As tensions mount and tempers flare, the prospect of a husband for Laura becomes their final chance for stability and escape. But this gentleman caller’s arrival could also deal a powerful blow that shatters their tenuous dreams.
Part of Tennessee Williams Explored

[buy ticket][more details]
 
[Five by Tenn]
[Five by Tenn]

April 21 - May 9, 2004
The Shakespeare Theatre joins forces with the Kennedy Center to present a fascinating evening of one-act plays written by the legendary playwright, including the unveiling of four of Williams’s newly discovered plays never before published or produced—until now. The evening will feature full productions of I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow, a captivating drama about the friendship between a middle-aged man and woman, along with the world premieres of And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens…, which follows the story of a New Orleans drag queen; Escape, a compelling work reflective of the mother-and-son relationship found in The Glass Menagerie; The Municipal Abattoir, set in a totalitarian state; and These Are the Stairs You Got to Watch, an exploration of lost innocence as seen through the eyes of a young movie theater usher. You won’t want to miss the debut presentation of these theatrical gems, to be performed by some of today’s finest stage actors.
Part of Tennessee Williams Explored

[buy ticket][more details]
 
[Letters from Tennessee: A Distant Country Called Youth]
[Letters from Tennessee: A Distant Country Called Youth]

June 11 - 13, 2004
Emmy® winner Richard Thomas (The Waltons, Fifth of July) stars in this intimate look at the making of an artist, adapted from early letters Tennessee Williams sent to his family, friends, and professional associates. Spanning from his seminal younger years in St. Louis writing to his mentally ill sister to the successful Broadway opening of The Glass Menagerie more than 20 years later, this one-man show weaves together elements from Williams’s tormented family life, distant travels, casual lovers, and struggling career that later formed the basis for many of his theatrical masterpieces. At turns humorous, poignant, and highly personal, A Distant Country Called Youth reveals Williams as poetic and passionate in his letters as he was in his plays.
Part of Tennessee Williams Explored

[buy ticket][more details]
 


[Schedule and Tickets.]

Tennessee Williams Explored
Part of the Kennedy Center Theater Series

[Instructions for icons on the calendar below.]

Performance information is currently unavailable.