- NEMLA conference: March 30-31, 2001
in Hartford, CT
- "Missed the Streetcar:
Lesser-Known Works of Tennessee Williams"
- Deadline: September 15, 2000
Prominent theatres have paid considerable recent attention to Tennessee
Williams's "lesser works." In New York, Drama Dept. staged a well-received
revival of KINGDOM OF EARTH (THE SEVEN DESCENTS OF MYRTLE) (1968), and WPA
Theatre mounted a reading of THE RED DEVIL BATTERY SIGN (1977) with Elizabeth
Ashley. Since last summer, including at the time of this writing, Worth St.
Theater has twice revived SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS (1972). Hartford Stage, under
the artistic direction of Michael Wilson, has declared the intention to
foreground Williams over its next several seasons; in addition to a popular
version of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1947), Wilson also staged the notorious
Broadway flop CAMINO REAL (1953), with Betty Buckley, to widespread acclaim.
From early adolescence until his death at 71, Williams wrote unceasingly
and inter-generically: plays, short stories, novels, poetry, essays, and
copious letters. Yet Williams's oeuvre is chiefly known--and taught at the
secondary and college/university levels--as the Broadway successes beginning
with THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1944) and ending with NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1961).
The recent resurgence of Williams's other drama, as delineated above,
demonstrates the need for much greater scrutiny of all Williams's writing.
This panel invites discussion of the lesser-known works from a variety of
perspectives: pedagogical, theatrical, theoretical, historical, etc. Topics
might include, but are by no means limited to:
· A "lesser" text's own claim for canonicity;
· A re-appraisal of work dismissed during Williams's life;
· Experience in teaching a "lesser" work: in what context, to what effect?
· Discussion of little-seen archival work: juvenilia, letters, etc.;
· Comparison of non-dramatic work to that of Williams's contemporaries:
evidence of cross-pollination?
· Discussion of how a "lesser" text helps readers to understand more
· The role of autobiography/confessional often discussed in the major texts.
Please direct all inquiries and abstract submissions (one-page) to:
Dept. of English; Room 501A
New York Institute of Technology
New York, NY 10023
Email submissions and inquiries are also most welcome at MRSchiavi@aol.com