Orpheus Descending

by  Tennessee Williams

Full Length Play, Drama  /  10m, 9f

"Because of the power and the brilliance and the humor of his writing, it emerges as a consistently moving and captivating experience…the author has done a masterful job of getting inside his characters." —NY Journal-American

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    10m, 9f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

As The New York Times describes, "The play tells of a woman storekeeper and a handsome, guileless youth who comes in off the highway. A guitar-player, he is a rural Orpheus who descends to rescue his love—not in Hades, precisely, but amid the intrigue, gossip and violence of a hot-tempered town…Orpheus Descending is one of Mr. Williams' pleasant plays, with characters determined to free themselves from corruption, with some sensitive philosophical comments in passing about the loneliness of the human being condemned in his world to solitary confinement for the whole of his life. Mr. Williams is in a more humane state of mind than he has been in several years…The introduction of the musical vagabond to the friendless woman who keeps the store, their humorous talk, their serious talk, the simplicity of their liaison after they have come to know each other—all this Mr. Williams has written in his best style of mood, lyricism and tenderness."
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Because of the power and the brilliance and the humor of his writing, it emerges as a consistently moving and captivating experience…the author has done a masterful job of getting inside his characters." – NY Journal-American

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

License details

  • Licensing available for professional groups only. Some restrictions apply.

Production

Details

  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: A general drygoods store in a small SOuthern town.

Casting

10m, 9f
DOLLY HAMMA
BEULAH BINNINGS
PEE WEE PINNINGS
DOG HAMMA
CAROL CUTRERE
EVA TEMPLE
SISTER TEMPLE
UNCLE PLEASANT
VAL XAVIER
VEE TALBOTT
LADY TORRANCE
JABE TORRANCE
SHERIFF TALBOTT
MR. DUBINSKY
WOMAN
DAVID CUTRERE
NURSE PORTER
FIRST MAN
SECOND MAN
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Resources

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Authors

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 capp ...

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Orpheus Descendingg was first presented on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre in March of 1957, under the direction of Harold Clurman.

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