Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by  Tennessee Williams

Full Length Play, Drama  /  8m, 5f, 2boy(s), 2girl(s)

Winner! 1955 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

One of the most successful plays of our time...a play of tremendous dramatic impact…enormous theatrical power." — New York Post

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 5f, 2boy(s), 2girl(s)
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades


    Tony, Pulitzer, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Monologues
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In a plantation house, a family celebrates the sixty-fifth birthday of Big Daddy, as they sentimentally dub him. The mood is somber, despite the festivities, because a number of evils poison the gaiety: greed, sins of the past and desperate, clawing hopes for the future spar with one another as the knowledge that Big Daddy is dying slowly makes the rounds. Maggie, Big Daddy's daughter-in-law, wants to give him the news that she's finally become pregnant by Big Daddy's favorite son, Brick, but Brick won't cooperate in Maggie's plans and prefers to stay in a mild alcoholic haze the entire length of his visit. Maggie has her own interests at heart in wanting to become pregnant, of course, but she also wants to make amends to Brick for an error in judgment that nearly cost her her marriage. Swarming around Maggie and Brick are their intrusive, conniving relatives, all eager to see Maggie put in her place and Brick tumbled from his position of most-beloved son. By evening's end, Maggie's ingenuity, fortitude and passion will set things right, and Brick's love for his father, never before expressed, will retrieve him from his path of destruction and return him, helplessly, to Maggie's loving arms.
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  • Winner! 1955 Pulitzer Prize in Drama



"One of the most successful plays of our time…a play of tremendous dramatic impact…enormous theatrical power." — New York Post

"…Williams has fashioned his most compelling characters." — New York Journal-American

"This is a gripping and intensely moving play, a play that can hold its own with anything written in the post-O'Neill American theater…Brilliant scenes, scenes of sudden and lashing dramatic power, break open…There is, indeed, no one moment in the evening when the stinging accuracy of Mr. Williams' ear for human speech is not compellingly in evidence…Mr. Williams is the man of our time who comes closest to hurling the actual blood and bone of life onto the stage; he is also the man whose prose comes closest to being an incisive natural poetry." — The New York Times


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Large Stage


  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes
  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

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



  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: A bed-sitting room and section of the gallery of a plantation home in the Mississippi Delta, an evening in summer. The action is continuous, with two intermissions.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


8m, 5f, 2boy(s), 2girl(s)
MAE - sometimes called "Sister Woman"
GOOPER - sometimes called "Brother Man"
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Cast Attributes

  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors




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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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was first presented by The Playwrights' Company on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre in New York City on March 24, 1955. It was directed by Elia Kazan.

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