The Influence of Tennessee Williams

Essays on Fifteen American Playwrights


In stock

SKU: 9780786434756 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The author of A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was never shy about drawing on his personal and family drama for stage material. This collection of 15 essays examines how Williams’s confessional style and subject matter in turn influenced a diverse group of American playwrights over the past six decades.
Critical comparisons with William Inge, Edward Albee, Neil Simon, David Mamet, Beth Henley, Christopher Durang, Tony Kushner, and others reveal the complexity of his influence. A special feature of this collection is its emphasis on how Williams was received by African American dramatists, including Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, Adrienne Kennedy and Suzan-Lori Parks. The collection ends with an original interview with Edward Albee on why and how Williams influenced him.

About the Author(s)

Philip C. Kolin is a distinguished professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he teaches drama. He has published more than 40 books and 200 articles.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Philip C. Kolin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3475-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

Introduction: The Panoptic Tennessee Williams
Philip C. Kolin      3
“[Our] Little Company of the Odd and Lonely”: Tennessee Williams’s “Personality” in the Plays of William Inge
Michael Greenwald      15
Neil Simon’s Parodies of Tennessee Williams
Susan Koprince      31
“Inconspicuous Osmosis and the Plasticity of Doing”: The Influence of Tennessee Williams on the Plays of Edward Albee
David A. Crespy      42
“Cracking the Shell of Literalness”: The Itinerary of Paternal Consciousness in Williams’s Tragedy with Notes on Its Influence on Gurney’s Comedy
Arvid F. Sponberg      55
“That gentleman with the painfully sympathetic eyes…”: Re-reading Lorraine Hansberry Through Tennessee Williams
Nancy Cho      68
The Fission of Tennessee Williams’s Plays into Adrienne Kennedy’s
Philip C. Kolin      79
Warriors Against the Kitchen Sink: Tennessee Williams and John Guare
Thomas Mitchell      95
Image, Myth, and Movement in the Plays of Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams
Annette J. Saddik      106
Sons of the South: An Examination of the Interstices in the Works of August Wilson and Tennessee Williams
Sandra G. Shannon      122
Williams, Mamet, and the Artist In Extremis
Brenda Murphy      136
The Symbiosis of Desire and Death: Beth Henley Rewrites Tennessee Williams
Verna A. Foster      148
“Period of Adjustment”: Marriage in Williams and Christopher Durang
John M. Clum      162
“All Truth Is a Scandal”: How Tennessee Williams Shaped Tony Kushner’s Plays
Kirk Woodward      175
Twilight in Tennessee: The Similar Styles of Anna Deavere Smith and Tennessee Williams
Harvey Young      187
Theatre of the Gut: Tennessee Williams and Suzan-Lori Parks
Harry J. Elam, Jr      200
Swimming to Chekhovia: Edward Albee on Tennessee Williams—An Interview
David A. Crespy      216

About the Contributors      221
Index      225

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice; “Philip Kolin, a most prolific and outstanding Williams expert, has gathered a team of well-known scholars, whose comparative approach not only substantiates Williams’s stature in the American theatre, but also helps us see other playwrights in a new light”—Amerikastudien.