“Certainly his [William Tennessee’s] plays shocked their contemporary audiences in their unprecedented treatment of the violence, rape, incest, alcoholism, and other secret traumas that haunt the everyday. Ultimately their insight, however, goes far beyond their “shock value”—that is, their capacity to offend conventional morality. If such were the case, Williams’s impassioned, seductive, and often nightmarish visions of American life would be far easier to forget.”
Are you ready for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on our main stage?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof recounts the evening of Bid Daddy’s 65th birthday celebration on his cotton plantation. While it’s no secret that Big Daddy has been sick, the rest of the family has falsified his health results in order to save Big Daddy and Big Mama of worry and grief. Why all the fuss? Because the real illness is cancer.
Jody Kujawa, who plays the Reverend Tooker, gives his take on our production directed by Julie Ahasay. Click here to watch the newscast.
In the midst of all this secrecy, Brick, one of Big Daddy’s son, and his wife Maggie’s marriage is on the rocks. Their problems seem to have all begun when Skipper, Brick’s best friend, took his own life. The loss of his friend has rendered Brick to many drunken nights and a behavior of a man unfit to take over Big Daddy’s estate. His brother, Gooper and his wife, Mae, have taken advantage of this situation and are working to cut Brick out of the family plantation business. Since Big Mama is very opposed to Gooper taking over, she pleads Maggie “the Cat” to help Brick get straight. Big Mama’s pleas lead Maggie to lie about her pregnancy as she wanted Big Daddy and Big Mama to feel untroubled about Brick’s state of mind.
This Southern drama is filled with twisted lies, betrayal and envy in which “the Cat” is without doubt the heroine as she is determined to stay on “the Hot Tin Roof” as long as she can.
“Cat is a play to send you back into the night sighing: Thank the Lord we’re boringly normal and not like that!” – The Daily Mail
“Williams’s exploration of the vortex of hypocrisy and mendacity behind the conventional social façade was deeply shocking in its day. But something deep in it still touches us today.” – The Independent
“Unrequited love, latent homosexuality and venomous truth-telling over the course of one airless Mississippi night: it’s hard to imagine how any more drama could fit into Tennessee Williams’ 1955 play.” – The Telegraph
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
Tenessee Williams was an American playwright and author of many famous plays, including The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). His plays undeniably reflected his dysfunctional family and made references to homosexuality, mental instability, and alcoholism.
Most of his successful works were adapted for the cinema with the help of Elia Kazan who directed many of Williams’ greatest successes, and who also said of him: “Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life.” The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. The play was later turned into a motion picture film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Four years before his death, Williams was honored by the American Theater Hall of Fame.