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Not About Nightingales - by Tennessee Williams

Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams

Written in 1938 when Williams was 27, still living at home and a good six years away from Broadway, Not about Nightingales is as much writing exercise as fully realized drama. It lacks the originality and depth of The Glass Menagerie, written only a few years later, and his later masterworks. Nevertheless, it is of considerable interest, not least because it was inspired by a real occurrence in which several unruly prisoners were cooked alive as punishment. And after all, it is Williams' first full-length play and first play written under the pen name Tennessee, and it sufficiently impressed Elia Kazan of the Group Theater, to which Williams sent it in response to a playwriting contest, that he introduced Williams to the New York agent Audrey Wood, who would make his career. Reading the play, most of which is in the thuddingly obvious politically conscious style of Depression-era theater, one notices in brief, brilliant passages and in the intensity of his characters the Williams to come. And that makes it worthwhile. Jack Helbig

Available On:
Not About Nightingales on Paperback

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

Released: 1998

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