Summer and Smoke

ISBN-10: 0822210975
ISBN-13: 9780822210979
Edition: N/A
List price: $9.00
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Description: THE STORY: A play that is profoundly affecting, SUMMER AND SMOKE is a simple love story of a somewhat puritanical Southern girl and an unpuritanical young doctor. Each is basically attracted to the other but because of their divergent attitudes  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1950
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 82
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

THE STORY: A play that is profoundly affecting, SUMMER AND SMOKE is a simple love story of a somewhat puritanical Southern girl and an unpuritanical young doctor. Each is basically attracted to the other but because of their divergent attitudes toward life, each over the course of years is driven away from the other. Not until the end does the doctor realize that the girl's high idealism is ultimately right, and while she is still in love with him, it turns out that neither time nor circumstances will allow the two to come together. Because of the explicit details provided by the author's production notes, the stage directions, and the diagram of the set design, nonprofessionals should have no difficulty in mounting the play effectively.

After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.

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