Tennessee Williams

Personal Information
Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. Williams' first essay, "Can a Wife Be a Good Sport?" was published in Smart Set magazine when he was only 16. Influenced by Anton Chekhov and Henrik Ibsen, Williams began writing plays. In 1935 his play Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay! was produced by the Memphis Garden Players. Several more of Williams' plays were produced in St. Louis the following year. In 1938 inspired by a newspaper article that described rioting and prisoner torture in a Philadelphia County prison, Williams wrote his fourth full-length play: Not About Nightingales. At the end of 1938 Williams moved to the French Quarter section of New Orleans. This would prove to be a decisive move in his literary career and, indeed, his life. In the Vieux Carre, a rooming house at 722 Toulouse Street, Williams' underwent a personal and artistic transformation from "Tom" to "Tennessee," a change he would chronicle decades later in a play, Vieux Carre, first produced in 1977. After the 1940 opening of his Battle of Angels in Boston (later reworked as Orpheus Descending), Williams tried his hand in Hollywood writing a screenplay for Lana Turner. He returned to the theatre with The Glass Menagerie (1945) and A Streetcar Named Desire(1947), which was awarded, among others, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Success followed upon success with Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955, Pulitzer Prize), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959) and Night of the Iguana (1961). Williams' place in the American theatre was evident as early as 1947, with the immense Broadway success of A Streetcar Named Desire. Having garnered two Pulitzer Prizes, four New York Critics Circle awards, the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature and countless others, Williams died in 1983 at the age of 71, leaving behind living shadows of himself: characters with immortality that continue to entertain, enlighten and question. With the rediscovery and premiere of Tennessee Williams' unproduced 1938 play, Not About Nightingales, audiences and scholars gain a valuable new perspective into Williams' artistic development. Not About Nightingales received Tony, Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination as Best Play for 1999.
Playwrights' Sidewalk: Tennessee Williams has a star on the Playwrights' Sidewalk.

Production Theatre Opened Credit
1 The Night of the Iguana Pershing Square Signature Center/ Irene Diamond Stage 12/17/2023 Playwright
2 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Theater at St. Clement's Church 03/05/2023 Playwright
3 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Theater at St. Clement's Church 07/24/2022 Author
4 A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur Theater at St. Clement's Church 09/23/2018 Playwright
5 Summer and Smoke East 13th Street/CSC Theatre 05/03/2018 Author
6 The Glass Menagerie Players Theatre 05/22/2015 Playwright
7 The Glass Menagerie 47th Street Theatre 05/14/2015 Playwright
8 The Two-Character Play New World Stages/ Stage V 06/19/2013 Playwright
9 In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel New World Stages/ Stage V 10/17/2012 Playwright
10 In Masks Outrageous and Austere Theatres at 45 Bleecker/ Bleecker Street Theatre 04/16/2012 Playwright
11 The Pretty Trap Theatre Row / Theatre Three (previously Acorn Theater) 08/03/2011 Playwright
12 One Arm Theatre Row / Theatre Three (previously Acorn Theater) 06/09/2011 Author
13 The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore Laura Pels Theatre (Current) 01/30/2011 Playwright
14 The Glass Menagerie Laura Pels Theatre (Current) 03/24/2010 Playwright
15 Vieux Carre Theater 80 St. Marks 05/27/2009 Playwright
16 Suddenly Last Summer Laura Pels Theatre (Current) 11/15/2006 Playwright
17 Five By Tenn New York City Center/ Stage II 11/11/2004 Playwright
18 Something Cloudy, Something Clear Theater at St. Clement's Church 09/12/2001 Playwright
19 A Streetcar Named Desire New York Theatre Workshop 09/12/1999 Playwright
20 The Red Devil Battery Sign WPA Theatre 11/13/1996 Playwright
21 Kingdom of Earth Greenwich House 06/18/1996 Playwright
22 The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore WPA Theatre 11/04/1987 Playwright
23 Ten by Tennessee Lucille Lortel Theatre 05/18/1986 Playwright
24 Vieux Caree WPA Theatre 03/26/1983 Playwright
25 A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur Hudson Guild Theatre 01/21/1979 Playwright
26 Summer and Smoke Roundabout Stage I (23rd Street Theater) 09/16/1975 Playwright
27 Battle of Angels Circle Theatre 11/03/1974 Playwright
28 Small Craft Warnings Truck and Warehouse Theater 04/02/1972 Author
29 In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel Eastside Playhouse 05/11/1969 Playwright
30 Camino Real St. Mark's Playhouse 05/16/1960 Playwright
31 The Purification Lucille Lortel Theatre 12/08/1959 Playwright
32 I Rise in Flames, Cried the Phoenix Lucille Lortel Theatre 04/14/1959 Playwright
33 Garden District York Playhouse 01/07/1958 Playwright
34 Summer and Smoke Circle in the Square 04/24/1952 Playwright

Production Theatre Opened Credit
1 Small Craft Warnings Truck and Warehouse Theater 04/02/1972 Doc REPLACEMENT
Award Production Function
1 WON 2010 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Revival The Glass Menagerie Playwright
2 WON 2010 ITBA Patrick Lee Award, Outstanding Off-Broadway Revival The Glass Menagerie Playwright