Garden District | NCSU Campus: Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre | Stage | Indy Week
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Garden District 

When: Oct. 26-Nov. 6 2011
Phone: 919-515-1100
Price: $5-18

Tennessee Williams would have been 100 years old this year. To mark the occasion, N.C. State University Theatre is presenting Garden District, which includes two of Williams' one-act plays: Suddenly, Last Summer and Something Unspoken. Both were written in 1958, during a fragile time in Williams' life. He was beginning his first foray into psychoanalysis and was entering the period of his life that bridged his early success (including Pulitzer Prizes for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) with the nightmarish deterioration that resulted in his tragic death at 71. (The recently contested official diagnosis from the medical examiner concluded Williams choked to death on a plastic bottle cap while trying to ingest barbiturates.)

Suddenly, Last Summer and Something Unspoken demonstrate Williams' renowned ability to fuse cruel reality with the poetics of the human heart. Infrequently performed, these plays show Williams experimenting with different dramatic models that would color his later work. The dark and violent Suddenly, Last Summer is also largely autobiographical. Williams explores his personal guilt—for his abuse of drugs, alcohol and love, and most precisely for the loss of his paranoid schizophrenic sister Rose, who by 1958 was gone, in mind if not in body, after a lobotomy 15 years earlier. This production features local actors Jan Doub Morgan and Lynda Clark. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, through Nov. 6. —Meg Stein



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