EN AVANT! AN EVENING WITH TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
An abbreviated version of my one-man show presenting the life of Tennessee Williams.
Tennessee Williams has intrigued and inspired me from the moment I opened a copy of The Glass Menagerie in preparation for my initial foray into the world of the theater. I began to wonder what it was that made this writer so different from the other great writers I had read or seen. I looked at his photos and was instantly struck by his infectious grin and the unmistakable twinkle in his eye. As I learned more I couldn’t help but be humbled by the shy, almost diffident persona which shunned celebrity and all that that false god represented. But mostly, I am truly moved by the poetry in his dialogue, poetry which serves to differentiate him from all the other great playwrights of the 20th century.
I’ve created En Avant! An Evening with Tennessee Williams in an attempt to present the essence of this admittedly wounded man. In it I strive to illuminate the forces that shaped his life and defined his art. The play delves into his early childhood, examines his family dynamic and in a series of very personal reflections presents the struggles that eventually led him to the pantheon of the dramatic world.
“En Avant!” is a French phrase meaning “forward” or “onward” and served as Tennessee’s motto all his life. The play is my homage to that spirit of “making voyages” that Tennessee Williams never abandoned. It is performed without intermission and runs about 75 minutes.