An early work by the revered playwright that caused a recent sensation in Houston, New York, and London, this is a raw, sprawling dramatization of real events at a Philadelphia prison in 1937. Convicts who led a hunger strike to protest conditions were locked in a scalding cell where four of them died. The sympathetic treatment of blacks and homosexuals was revolutionary for the time of the premiere and may explain why the play remained unproduced for sixty years.
"Enthralling...A feverish, full strength compassion for people in cages makes Nightingales
fly toward a realm of pain and beauty that is the province of greatness...The emotions, both savage and painfully delicate, that saturate this work are arguably more rich and varied in tone than those of any American dramatist...The voices of Williams's entrapped nightingales...refuse to fade when the play is plunged into its concluding darkness." - The New York Times
"The best American play so far this season...It adds to the reputation of one of America's greatest playwrights." - The New York Daily News
"Fascinating." - The New York Post
"Changes our perception of a major writer and still packs a hefty political punch." - London Independent