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The Magic Tower and Other One-Act Plays - Collection / Anthology

The Magic Tower and Other One-Act Plays

Tennessee Williams

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Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780811219204

A collection of 15 previously uncollected one-act plays.

More Information Below:

Description | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition

Minimum Fee: $45 / performance
$75 / performance of 3 plays
$100 / performance of 4 or more plays

License Requests for single titles should be submitted on individual title pages.


Collection / Anthology




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Here are portraits of American life during the Great Depression and after, populated by a hopelessly hopeful chorus girl, a munitions manufacturer ensnared in a love triangle, a rural family that deals "justice" on its children, an overconfident mob dandy, a poor couple who quarrel to vanquish despair, a young "spinster" enthralled by the impulse of rebellion, and, in "The Magic Tower," a passionate artist and his wife whose youth and optimism are not enough to protect their "dream marriage." This new volume gathers some of Williams's most exuberant early work and includes one-acts that he would later expand to powerful full-length dramas: "The Pretty Trap," a cheerful take on The Glass Menagerie, and "Interior: Panic," a stunning precursor to A Streetcar Named Desire.

15 previously uncollected one-act plays:
At Liberty
The Magic Tower
Me, Vashya
Curtains for the Gentleman
In Our Profession
Every Twenty Minutes
Honor the Living
The Case of the Crushed Petunias
Moony's Kid Don't Cry
The Dark Room
The Pretty Trap
Interior: Panic
Kingdom of Earth
I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark on Sundays
Some Problems for The Moose Lodge

"The peak of my virtuosity was in the one-act plays. Some of which are like firecrackers in a rope"
(Tennessee Williams)

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) explores passion with daring honesty, and forged a poetic theatre of raw psychological insight that shattered conventional proprieties and transformed the American stage. The autobiographical The Glass Menagerie brought what Mr. Williams called “the catastrophe of success,” a success capped by A Streetcar Named Desire, one of the most influential works of modern ... view full profile

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Katharine Schmidt 8/5/2013 6:03 PM
For his fans, reading any work by Tennessee Williams is time well spent.  The anthology The Magic Tower contains fifteen short plays.  Most fascinatingly, his early work includes prototypes of his later, better known plays.  

The author notes that The Pretty Trap gets 'a lighter treatment and a different ending,' than its successor, The Glass Menagerie. Perhaps the most striking of the precursors comes in the form of Interior: Panic, which skews Streetcar even more to Blanche's perspective. The paranoid heroine projects the decay of her sanity outward as a series of aural and visual hallucinations.  Like Trap, Williams imbues Interior: Panic with the raw lyricism of Streetcar, but spins a positive ending. The thinnest, but still notable, link arises in The Case of the Crushed Petunias. The sweet allegory finds an outlandish young man in a woman's store, but the similarities to Orpheus Descending end there. Its contains my favorite Williams quote, which reappears in Orpheus: " . . . dead people give the best advice . . . just one word: live!"  

This volume lets the reader peek at a much-loved playwright's process, as one that allowed for time and space to write and rewrite the defining statements of his life.

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