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Performing Arts Department

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Tennessee Williams: Playwright

Drama 453 - Spring 2020

Tennessee Williams (1911-83), arguably America's greatest playwright, was also our most prolific and controversial one. Williams' career spanned six decades, including two (1918-38) growing up in St. Louis, and one important year (1936-37), enrolled at Washington University. While he wrote a number of masterpieces (The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), he also wrote many plays which remain virtually unknown, but which are worthy of renewed exploration. The playwright's tortured and self-destructive life and mysterious death (including his addiction to drugs and alcohol) hold a mirror up to American culture, especially with regard to the writer's first closeted, then flamboyantly gay life-style. This seminar offers an opportunity to examine this brilliant, flawed, and obsessive writer in depth. Included will be discussion of some of the films made from his plays, and visits to some of the St. Louis landmarks which are featured in his plays.
Course Attributes: EN HAS HUMFA HUMAR HUM

Section 01

American Drama
INSTRUCTOR: Henry Schvey
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