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Writing for Us
An Overview of Tennessee Williams's Career
by Elyse Sommer
Other Playwright Profiles List
Chronology of Produced Plays
Trademarks Of Williams's Plays
Links To Reviews & Books
Quotes From Williams Plays
Personal Statistics He was born Thomas Lanier Williams in a small Southern city ( Columbus, Mississippi) on March 26, 1911. He died in an Eastern metropolis, (New York City) on February 25, 1983. His journey, which included detours to Hollywood where he wrote screen adaptations of his plays, brought a metamorphosis from a shy romantic into the flamboyant celebrity known as Tennessee Williams. Even when driven by his personal demons and dramas, Williams was always prolific writer..
Writing provided Willims with an escape from the difficult adjustment to his family's move from a tranquil small town to the more industrial St. Louis. His first published work was an entry in a contest sponsored by a magazine (Smart Set) asking for essays on the question "Can a Good Wife be a Good Sport?" As a student at the University of Missouri. he continued to write, winning several small prizes for poetry and prose. He also discovered relief from his painful shyness in alcohol.
When the senior Williams made his son quit college and go to work in a shoe company warehouse in Memphis, writing at night proved the only release from the drudgery of this daytime life. During this time Williams also discovered theater through the Memphis Garden players.
He did return to college and with his grandmother's help was eventually able to leave St. Louis and complete his education at the University of Iowa. Wherever he lived, Williams never wavered in his intent to become a writer, writing and publishing stories as well as plays. Early in his career a group of one-acts that won him a special prize ($100!) From the fabled Group Theatre.
The Glass Menagerie, his most autobiographical play, began as an idea for a film script for Margaret O'Brien, initially called "The Gentleman Caller". It never made it as a movie but became his first big success. The characters come right out of his own unhappy family: his mentally ill sister; his sharp-tongued mother and his emotionally absent father. It was also his first big success, winning the New York Drama Critics Circle Award (the first of four!) and running on Broadway for almost two years.
Eventually there were also two Pulitzers, for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.
The playwright's last hit was The Night of the Iguana in 1961. Williams himself acknowledged shortly before his death that he had been in " a period of eclipse" However, he continued to write nevertheless.
While the playwright is no longer with us, each year his fans gather in New Orleans for a celebration of his life and work. For more information about this Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival check the organizers' web site at www.tennesseewilliams.net.
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Chronology of Produced Plays
It's tempting to reduce a big list like this to best known plays. On the other hand, it's enlightening to see the extent of a major writer's total output and to note how many productions were not major successes or done in large mainstream theaters. One of Williams' earliest and "unlisted" plays, Not About Nightingales, was only recently unearthed by the British actress Vanessa Redgrave. She found a reference to it while she was preparing for a production of Orpheus Descending and tracked down several drafts in a Williams collection at the University of Texas in Austin. Written in 1938 the play was submitted to a competition for playwrights under 25 which prompted the 26-year-old Williams to change his name to Tennessee to hide his identity and age. The name stuck but the play did not win and was never produced -- until the Redfords and director Trevor Nunn produced it as a British-American co-venture. Both the initial production at the Royal National Theatre in London and the American production at Houston's Alley Theatre won widespread critical acclaim. The story continues in February 1999, when Nightingales will mark the re-opening of the Circle in the Square. It bears noting, that while Nightingales was certainly one of Williams' earliest plays it was not his first. That honor goes to Beauty Is the Word written in 1930. His first play to be staged was a comedy about two sailors on a date, Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay! produced in 1935 by a community theater in Memphis.
In addition to the plays, Williams also did the screenplays for The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Rose Tattoo, Suddenly Last Summer and The Fugitive Kind .
1935. Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay -- with Bernice Dorothy Shapiro; Memphis Garden Players, Rose Arbor Playhouse.
1936. The Magic Tower, Webster Groves (MO) Theatre Guild.
1936. Headlines, St. Louis Mummers.
1937. Candles to the Sun, St. Louis Mummers.
1937. Fugitive Kind, St. Louis Mummers.
1940. The Long Goodbye, New York, New School for Social Research..
1940. Battle of Angels, Boston Theatre Guild, Wilbur Theatre; revised 1957 as Orpheus Descending, Martin Beck Theatre
1956. This property Is Condemned, New York, New School for Social Research, followed by several regional production and in Three Premiered at New York Cherry Lane Theatre.
1943. You Touched Me! Adapted with Donald Windham from D.H. Lawrence's short story. Cleveland Playhouse and in 1945, New York's Booth Theatre.
1944. The Purification Pasadena Laboratory and in 1959 at New York's Theatre de Lys.
1944. The Glass Menagerie, Chicago Civic Theatre, and in 1945 at New York's Playhouse Theatre.
1945. Stairs to the Roof , Pasadena Playhouse
1946. Moony's Kid Don't Cry, in Two One-Act Plays; Nantucket Theater and other regional theaters.
1947. The Last of My Solid Gold Watches, LA Actors' Laboratory.
1944. Portrait of a Madonna, LA Actors' Laboratory.
1947 and1948. Summer and Smoke , Dallas Theatre'47, Gulf Oil Playhouse; New York's Music Box 1948; revised as Eccentricities of a Nightingale in 1964 but not on Broadway (Morosco) until 1976. Probably one of Williams most re-written plays, this began as an unpublished short story "Bobo" in 1941. It was a tale of a minister's daughter named Alma who rebels against her Puritan father and becomes a prostitute, gives birth to a magical child who brings her gold and jewels. It was rewritten in 1946 as another short story, "Yellow Bird" in which Alma Tutwiler, the repressed daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, begins drinking, smoking and engaging in prostitution after a yellow bird flies into the window of her parish. This in turn led to a play about two sisters in New Orleans, originally called The Poker Night which, of course, became A Streetcar Named Desire. 1947. A Streetcar Named Desire , Ethel Barrymore, NYC. Late in 1998 an opera using this play as its libretto had its premiere in San Francisco, with the composer, Andre Previn at the podium and Renee Fleming as Blanche DuBois.
1951. The Rose Tattoo , Martin Beck, NYC.
1953. Camino Real , National Theatre, NYC.
1955. 17 Wagons Full of Cotton , New Orleans, Tulane University and in All In One NY, York Playhouse Theatre.
1955. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , Morosco Theatre, NYC.
1955. Something Unspoken , Lakeside Summer Theater (NJ) and in Garden District York Playhouse, NYC.
1955. Three Players of a Summer Game , White Barn Theatre, Westport, Conn..
1956. Sweet Bird of Youth , Coral Gables, FLA and in 1959, Martin Beck, NYC.
1958. Suddenly Last Summer , in Garden District York Playhouse, NYC.
1958. Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen , White Barn Theatre, Westport, Conn..
1958. Period of Adjustment , Coconut Grove Playhouse, FLA and in 1960 Helen Hayes Theatre, NYC.
.1959. I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix , in Two Short Plays Theatre de Lys, NYC.
1959. The Night of the Iguana, Spoleto, Italy and in 1960 at Royal Theatre in NYC.
1962. The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Any More, Morosco Theatre in NYC.
1964. Eccentricities of a Nightingale Off-Broadway Probably one of Williams most re-written plays, this began as an unpublished short story "Bobo" in 1941.
1966. The Gnaediges Fraulein in Slapstick Tragedy , Longacre Theatre in NYC; as The Latter Days of a Celebrated Soubrette in Central Arts Cabaret Theatre, NYC.
1966. The Mutilated, in Slapstick Tragedy Longacre Theatre in NYC.
1967. The Two-Character Play. Hampstead Theatre Club, London and in 1973, Lyceum Theatre in NYC.
1968. The Seven Descents of Myrtle, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NYC.
1969. In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Eastside Playhouse, NYC.
1970. Confessional, Maine Theatre Arts Festival and in 1972 at Truck and Warehouse Theatres, NYC.
1970. I Can't Imagine Tomorrow, PBS-TV.
1975. The Red Devil Battery Sign, Shubert Theatre, Boston.
1976 >Eccentricities of a Nightingale on Broadway (but with Williams in decline and eclipsed by Streetcar, so, despite good reviews, ran only 102 performances and not back in New York until 2008 revival by The Actors Company Theatre. 1976. This Is (An Entertainment) American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco.
.1977. Vieux Carre, St. James, NYC.
1978. Tiger TailVieux Carre, St. James, NYC.
1978. Creve Coeur, Charleston, SC Spoleto Fetival, and in 1979 at Hudson Guild, NYC
1980. Will Mr. Merriwether Return from Memphis?, Key West, FLA, Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center
1980. Clothes for a Summer Hotel , Cort, NYC
1982. Some Problems for the Moose Lodge part of Tennesse Laughs
1982.Goodman Theatre, Chicago (expandeded as A House Not Meant to Stand
1982. Something Cloudy, Something Clear, Jean Cocteau Repertory, NYC ` Back to the top
Trademarks Of Williams's Plays
While recognized as this century's premier poetic dramatist, the characters and settings of his plays have linked Williams as closely to southern fiction writers (William Faulkner, Carson McCullers) as to dramatists. His chief themes concern isolation and loneliness; the difficulties of communication; the individual's solitary search for the values and meaning absent from the modern world. He did not ignore the social protest that marked the theater of his early career, but he chose to use the smaller canvas of individual lives. The hallmark of his plays is the lyricism of his dialogue.
Williams was known for rewriting his work, and often more than once; to wit, fourteen of his seventeen full length plays have been published in various versions, some with minor changes and others completely different endings and even titles. One of his most extensive rewrites involved his 1947 play Summer and Smoke which was so changed that Williams even changed the name to The Eccentricities of a Nightingale. According to the dramaturge's notes in the program for The Actors Company Theatre's excellent 2008 revival of Eccentricities of a Nightingale — circumstances prevented the play from being produced until 1975, and the timing could not have been worse since it came in the midst of the playwright's personal and professional downward spiral and though, critically praised, was eclipsed by A Streetcar Named Desire. Yet Williams considered Eccentricities, Streetcar and The Glass Menagerie "a trio" at the heart of which was "a single theme, or legend, that of the delicate, haunted girl, the oversensitive misfit in a world that spins with blind fury." Of the three Williams identified most with Alma because "she grew up in the shadow of the rectory and so did I." Back to Top
Links To Plays By and About Williams and Books you Might Want to Read
Adjoining Trances about Williams and Carson McCullers
Out Cry (NAATCO 2008)
Baby Doll/ (London 2000)
The Glass Menagerie (London 2010)
The Glass Menagerie/ Tennessee Williams(Los Angeles 2010)
The Glass Menagerie (Off-Broadway-Roundabout 2010)
The Glass Menagerie (Berkshire Theatre Festival, 2007)
The Glass Menagerie (Williamstown Theatre Festival)
The Glass Menagerie (Broadway, 2005)
The Glass Menagerie (DC 2004)
The Glass Menagerie (London 2007)
The Pretty Trap(Off-Broadway 2011 early version of The Glass Menagerie
Camino Real Berkshires
Camino Real(Chicago 2012)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Broadway 2013)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof(London 2009)
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (London 2001)
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Broadway 2--3)
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (DC)
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Broadway) 2008--all black cast)
The Chalky White substance (Los Angeles)
Desperate Conversations: Two One-Act Plays-- I Can't Imagine Tomorrow and A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot (Philadelphia)
A Distant Country Called Youth: The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Vol. 1: 1920-1945/Williams, Tennessee, adapted by Steve Lawson (DC)
Eccentricities of a Nightingale(T.A.C.T 2008—see background notes under Williams' Trademarks above.
Five by Tennessee (DC)
Five by Tennessee (NY)
In Masks Outrageous and Austere (Off-Broadway 2012)
In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel (White Horse Theatre Company--Off-Off-Broadway, 2007)
The Lost Plays of Tennesse Williams: MISTER PARADISE,THE PALOOKA, TELL SAD STORIES OF THE DEATH OF QUEENS (Los Angeles 2008)
The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Roundabout Off- Broadway 2011)
Tennessee Williams(Los Angeles 2007
Night of the Iguana (Off-Off Broadway 2008)
The Night of the Iguana (London)
Night of the Iguana (LA)
Night of the Iguana (Berkshire Theatre Festival)
Not About Nightingales (London)
Not About Nightingales (Broadway 1999)
Notebook of Trigorin (DC)
One Arm/- adaptation of short story and unproduced screenplay (Off-Broadway 2011)
Period of Adjustment (London)
Period of Adjustment (Berkshire Theater Festival 2011)
Pinter & Williams: The Lover & 27 Wagons Full of Cotton
The Rose Tattoo (London-2007)
The Rose Tattoo (Goodman Theater--Chicago)
Small Craft Warnings< (Off-Broadway 3011)
Small Craft Warnings<. . .second review. . . and yet another at the Jean Cocteau
Small Craft Warnings (Los Angeles)
Something Cloudy, Something Clear
A Streetcar Named Desire- multi-racial cast (2012 Broadway)
A Streetcar Named Desire (2009 DC Kennedy Center/NY BAM)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Barrington Stage-Berkshires 2009)
A Streetcar Named Desire(Philadelphia 2009)
Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA (Katrina inspired Fringe fesstival solo riff on Williams by Todd Rosenthal 2008)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey) 2008
A Street Car Named Desire (Broadway 2005)
a href="streetcardc.html">A Streetcar Named Desire(DC 2004)
A Streetcar Named Desire(London 2002)
A Street Car Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire (Williamstown 2011)
Suddenly Last Summer (Broadway,2006)
Suddenly Last Summer (Barrington Stage)
Suddenly Last Summer (London)
Suddenly Last Summer (Broadway, 2006)
Summer and Smoke (London 2006—see notes on Eccentricities of a Nightinggale, Williams preferred and drastically re-written version revived in 2008 by the Off-Broadway company, T.A.C.T)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar-London 2009)
Summer and Smoke/Williams, TennesSweet Bird of Youth.Chicago 2012)
Sweet Bird of Youth (Berkshires, WTF)
Ten Blocks on the Camino Real(Target Margin Theater 2009)
Tennessee Williams Remembered -- a stage memoir by Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson whose life as an on-and-off-stage couple began during a Williams play.
Vieux Carré/Tennessee Williams (Peal Theater, NY 2009
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Norton paperback edition. . . Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, New American, mass market paperback edition
Glass Menagerie New American mass market paperback. . .Glass Menagerie audio cassette
Four Plays: Summer and Smoke/Orpheus Descending/Suddenly Last Summer/Period of Adjustment in one Mass Market Paperback edition.
A Street Car Named Desire Mass Market Paperback
The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. Donald Spoto's critical biography of Williams' personal drama and career. The 1997, paperback includes the 34 photos of the original edition.
The Unknown Tennessee Williams by Lyle Leverich. This was the biographer approved by Williams and considered the best study to date. It ends with The Glass Menagerie (with a second part much anticipated). The paperback edition includes photos.
The Collected Stories. Williams copious output included stories and studies of plays and this chronologically arranged collections covers every period of his life and includes a most informative publishing history for each piece.
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Quotes From Plays & Interviews
Some of the playwright's lines have crept into our everyday vocabulary, notably - "the gentleman caller" of The Glass Menagerie and "I've come to rely on the kindness of strangers" from the sad but so quotable Blanche DuBois ofA Streetcar Named Desire. The selection that follows is just a nibble from a feast of memorable lines.
Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead. -- Tennessee Williams
The world is a funny paper read backwards. And that way it isn't so funny. --- Tennessee Williams
It haunts me, the passage of time. I think time is a merciless thing. I think life is a process of burning oneself out and time is the fire that burns you. But I think the spirit of man is a good adversary.---Tennessee Williams
Everyone says he's sincere, but everyone isn't sincere. If everyone was sincere who says he's sincere there wouldn't be half so many insincere ones in the world and there would be lots, lots, lots more really sincere ones! -- Tennessee Williams
Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead.--- Tennessee Williams.
There's so much loneliness in this house you can hear it.— The Writer in Vieux Carré
I have a cold. You have a cold in your heart.—Nightingale to The Writer in Vieux Carré
I prefer a play to be not a noose but a net with fairly wide meshes. So many of its instants of revelations are wayward flashes, not part of the plan of an author but struck accidentally off, and perhaps these are closes to being a true celebration of the inebriate god. -- Tennessee Williams
It's a terrible thing for an old woman to outlive her dogs -- Prologue to Camino Real
We have to distrust each other. It is our only defence against betrayal. -- Marguerite Gautier in Camino Real
Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an' death's the other.--- . Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 2.
What do you know about this mendacity thing?. . .I could write a book on it and still not cover the subject anywhere near enough! —Think of all the lies I got to put up with!— Pretenses! Ain't that mendacity? Having to pretend stuff you don't think or feel of have any idea of? Having for instance to act like I care for Big Mama!— I haven't been able to stand the sight, sound, or smell of that woman for forty years now. . .Pretend to love that son of a bitch of a Gooper and his wife Mae and those five same screechers out there like parrots in a jungle. . .You and being a success as a planter is all I ever had any real devotion to in my whole life!— from Big Daddy's mendacity rant in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 2.
You can be young without money but you can't be old without it. -- Margaret (Maggie) in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, act 1.
Living with someone you love can be lonelier--than living entirely alone!--if the one that you love doesn't love you --Margaret (Maggie) in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Act 1. Nothing's more determined than a cat on a tin roof-- is there, baby? -- Act 3, last line Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy aposition. I've seen such pitiful cases in the South — barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister's husband or brother's wife! — stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room — encouraged by one in-law to visit another — little birdlike women without any nest — eating the crust of humilityall their life! Is that the future that we've mapped out for ourselves? — Amanda , Scene 2, The Glass Menagerie .
Why you're not crippled, you just have a little defect — hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it — develop charm — and vivacity — and — charm!—Amanda, Scene 2, The Glass Menagerie
Every time you come in yelling that Goddamn 'Rise and Shine! Rise and Shine!' I say to myself, 'How lucky dead people are!' But I get up. I go! For sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self - self's all I ever think of. Why, listen, if self is what I though of, Mother, I'd be where he is GONE! — Tom, Scene 3, The Glass Menagerie ——
Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse! — Tom, Scene 4, The Glass Menagerie
You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it! — Amanda to Tom, Scene 5, The Glass Menagerie
No girl can do worse than put herself at the mercy of a handsome appearance.— Amanda about her poor choice of a husband, Scene 5, The Glass Menagerie
People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them have them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses. — Tom, Scene 6, The Glass Menagerie
All of my gentlemen callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes—and woman accepts the proposal! To vary that old, old saying a bit—I married no planter! I married a man who worked for the telephone company! . . . A telephone man who —fell in love with long-distance!— Amanda about her poor choice of a husband, Scene 6, The Glass Menagerie
I believe in the future of television! I wish to be ready to go up right along with it. Therefore I'm planning to get in on the ground floor. In fact I've already made the right connections and all that remains is for the industry itself to get under way! Full steam — Knowledge — Zzzzzp! Money — Zzzzzp! — Power! That's the cycle democracy is built on.— Jim, Scene 7, The Glass Menagerie
. I wish that you were my sister. I'd teach you to have some confidence in yourself. The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They're one hundred times one thousand. You're one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here. They're common as — weeds, but — you — well, you're — Blue Roses! — Jim, Scene 7, The Glass Menagerie
We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it. -- Chris in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore.
.All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness! -- Mrs. Goforth in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, sc. 2.
Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going. ---Mrs. Goforth in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, sc. 3.
The view from this verandah is equal and I think better than the view from victoria Peak in Hong Kong, the view from the roof-terrace of the Sultan's palace in. . .--- Reverend Shannon
I want the view of a clean bed, a bathroom with plumbing that works, and food that is eatable and digestable and not contaminated by filth. . . ---Miss Fellows cutting in on Shannon in The Night of the Iguana, Act 1.
We've been through several typhoons in the Orient; distractions from inside disturbances, aren't they?--Hanna in The Night of the Iguana, Act 1, scene 2.
Honey girl, don't you know that nothing worse could happen to a girl in your, your--unstable condition--than get emotionally mixed up with a man in my unstable condition, huh?. . . Two unstable conditions can set a whole world on fire, can blow it up, past repair --- Shannon The Night of the Iguana, Act 1, scene 2.
It's almost impossible for anybody to believe they're not loved by someone they believe they love --Reverend Shannon in The Night of the Iguana, Act 2.
Don't misunderstand me about Fred, baby. I miss him, but we'd not only stopped sleeping together, we'd stopped talking together except in grunts--no quarrels, no misunderstandings, but if we exchanged two grunts in the course of a day, it was a long conversation we'd had that day between us --Maxine Faulk in The Night of the Iguana, Act 3.
O Courage, could you not as well
Select a second place to dwell,
Not only in that golden tree
But in the frightened heart of me?
Nonno's last poem in The Night of the Iguana, Act 3
We're all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins for life! -- Val Xavier, Orpheus Descending, Act 2, scene 1.
Every man walks around with a cage he carries around with him until he is dead --"Canary" Jim in Not About Nightingales, Act 1
Time rushes toward us with its hospital try of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for the inevitable fatal operation
-- Foreword to The Rose Tattoo
Funerals are pretty compared to deaths. Funerals are quiet, but deaths--not always. Sometimes their breathing is hoarse, and sometimes it rattles, and sometimes they even cry out to you, "Don't let me go." As if you were able to stop them! --Blanche, A Streetcar Named Desire, Act 1, scene 1.
He acts like an animal, has an animal’s habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! --Blanche to Mitch , A Streetcar Named Desire, Act 1, scene 9 .
The Grim Reaper has put up his tent on our doorstep! . . . Stella, Belle Reeve was his headquarters -- Blanche, A Streetcar Named Desire, scene 10 .
We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!— Stanley A Streetcar Named Desire, Scene 10.
But I have been foolish -- casting my pearls before swine! -- Blanche, A Streetcar Named Desire, scene 10 .
How strange that I should be called a destitute woman! When I have all these treasures locked in my heart --Blanche, A Streetcar Named Desire, scene 10. The treasures Blanche alludes to are intelligence and breeding.
I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.---Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. -- last words of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Most peoples' lives -- what are they but trails of debris, each day more debris. . .with nothing to clean it all up but, finally death -- Mrs. Venable Suddenly Last Summer Act 1, scene 1.
All rooms are lonely where there is only one person --Alma Winemiller to the lonely travelling man she picks up at the end of Summer and Smoke. There's no more valuable knowedge than knowing the right time to go. I knew it. I went at the right time to go. RETIRED! Where to? To what? To that dead planet, the moon. . .that withered, withering country, of time coming after time not meant to come after. If I had just been old but you see, I wasn't old. . .I just wasn't young. not young, young. I just wasn't young anymore. ---Princess Kosmonopolis, act 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
When monster meets monster, one has to give way and I will never let go. ---Princess Kosmonopolis, act 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
Aren't you ashamed?-- Chance
Of course I am --Princess Kosmonopolis, responding to Chance after coming to an agreement for his sexual favors, act 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
The great difference between people in this world is not between the rich and the poor or the good and the evil, the biggest of all differences in this world is between the ones that had or have pleasure in love and those that haven't and hadn't any pleasure in love, but just watched it with envy, sick envy. The spectators and the performers --Chance Wayne in act 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
. . .there's a clock in every room people live in. . .It goes tick-tick, it's quieter than your heartbeat, but it's slow dynamite, a gradual explosion, blasting the world we live in to burnt-out pieces. . .Time, who could beat it, who could defeat it ever?---Princes Kosmonopolisact 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
I used to be the best looking boy in this town. ---Chance Wayne
How large is this town? --Princes Kosmonopolis, act 1, Sweet Bird of Youth.
I have power and that's no illusion. --- Boss Finley
- You have an illusion of power, poppa!--- Heavenly Finley
I have power and that's no illusion. --- Boss Finley
--- act two, Sweet Bird of Youth.
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