Not About Nightingales

by  Tennessee Williams

Full Length Play, Drama  /  9m, 3f

"Changes our perception of a major writer and still packs a hefty political punch." - London Independent

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Not About Nightingales

by  Tennessee Williams

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    9m, 3f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway, From West End
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

An early work by the revered playwright that caused a sensation in Houston, New York, and London. This is a raw, sprawling dramatization of real events at a Philadelphia prison in 1937. Convicts who led a hunger strike to protest conditions were locked in a scalding cell where four of them died. The sympathetic treatment of blacks and homosexuals was revolutionary for the time of the premiere and may explain why the play remained unproduced for sixty years.
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Accolades

  • NOMINEE! 1999 Tony Award for Best Play

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Enthralling...A feverish, full strength compassion for people in cages makes Nightingales fly toward a realm of pain and beauty that is the province of greatness...The emotions, both savage and painfully delicate, that saturate this work are arguably more rich and varied in tone than those of any American dramatist...The voices of Williams's entrapped nightingales...refuse to fade when the play is plunged into its concluding darkness." - The New York Times

"The best American play so far this season...It adds to the reputation of one of America's greatest playwrights." - The New York Daily News

"Fascinating." - The New York Post

"Changes our perception of a major writer and still packs a hefty political punch." - London Independent

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


    This title is currently restricted in London, please contact the Licensing Department for further details.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Setting: A large American prison during the summer of 1938.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

9m, 3f

THE VOICE OF THE LORELEI
MRS. BRISTOL
EVA CRANE
JIM ALLISON (Canary Jim)
BOSS WHALEN - the warden
JACK BRISTOL (Sailor Jack)
SCHULTZ - a guard
BUTCH O'FALLON
THE QUEEN
JOE
MCBURNEY - a guard
OLIVER ARMSTEAD (Ollie)
SHAPIRO
JEREMY TROUT (Swifty)
MEX
KRAUSE
ALBERTS
TOM
CHAPLAIN
REVEREND HOOKER
GOLDIE
CHICK
GUARDS, CONVICTS, TROOPERS

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Multicultural casting
  • Room for Extras

Resources

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Authors

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) explores passion with daring honesty, and forged a poetic theatre of raw psychological insight that shattered conventional proprieties and transformed the American stage. The autobiographical The Glass Menagerie brought what Mr. Williams called “the catastrophe of success,” a success capp ...

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Not About Nightingales premiered at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in June 1998 under the direction of Trevor Nunn.

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