The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans Presents NOT ABOUT NIGHTINGALES
The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans will transform Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center into a prison facility lorded over by a power-mad warden from December 1-16 this year. Audiences will witness the New Orleans premiere of Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams. TWTC chose this play in large part because of Louisiana's incarceration epidemic.
About the play, director Augustin J Correro says: "From 'Orange is the New Black' and HBO's 'Oz' all the way back to 'The Great Escape', audiences on the outside have been fascinated by prison life. Seeing portrayals of incarcerated individuals, especially when abuse by the authorities is in the mix, is a challenge for some, but we go back to the subject time and again. It's incredible that Williams wrote so sensitively about this topic in 1938-it's still extremely relevant today."
The play was written as a college class assignment a few months before Williams moved to New Orleans. It's based on real events that took place at a Pennsylvania prison, resulting in the torture and deaths of prisoners. It did not receive its first performance until 1998, fifteen years after the playwright died.
The play's action focuses on two sides of the prison: a cell block and the warden's office. Both plots are equally intense and electrifying, highlighting the kinds of abuse of power that can take place if a leader goes unchecked. In the office, the warden competes with an inmate for the affections of Eva, a newly-minted secretary. Meanwhile in Block C, a charismatic prisoner is cooking up a hunger strike to bring the warden to his knees. It is a play about endurance.
The play stars Nicole Himel, Zeb Hollins III, Joseph Furnari, Sean Richmond, Christopher Robinson, Todras Sam, Cameron-Mitchell Ware, Ann Dalrymple, Stephen Stanley, and Gavin Robinson. The design team includes Nick Shackleford, Lee Kyle, and Derek Blanco.