Kicking off its 56th season, Livingston’s Blue Slipper Theatre will present four one-act plays by American theatre icon Tennessee Williams and directed by Marc Beaudin. The performances run from March 20 to April 5, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. The Blue Slipper is located at 113 E. Callender St.
Talk to Me Like the Rain: Short Plays by Tennessee Williams includes a sampling of two-person dramas written from 1940 – 1970. Together, the plays examine the variety of ways people strive to connect and sometimes fail to connect.
“Auto-Da-Fé,” featuring Merin Coats and John Henry Haseltine, explores the dangers of religious fanaticism and repressed desire. “I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow,” featuring Meriweather Campbell and Emily Jones, is a look at the interdependency of close friends—and one-time lovers—faced with looming changes. “Mooney’s Kid Don’t Cry,” featuring John Henry Haseltine and Emily Jones, pits a young couple’s dreams against a seemingly bleak reality. Rounding out the production, “Talk to Me Like the Rain And Let Me Listen …,” featuring Arlen Guest and Aya Rordam, is a poetic rumination on despair and hope.
Williams believed that theatre should be “a punch to the sternum,” and these plays definitely pack a wallop. However, there is much in these works to be uplifted and thrilled by.
As part of Beaudin’s design concept, each play will feature an original painted backdrop created by celebrated local artists Jim Barrett, Edd Enders, Angie Froke and Aaron Schuerr.
Williams, along with his contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama. After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with the success of The Glass Menagerie. It was the first of a string of hits, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Night of the Iguana. He also wrote over 70 one-act plays, as well as short stories, poetry, essays and a memoir.
The show runs approximately an hour and a half and will be performed with one 15-minute intermission. Tickets range from $10 to $16, and are available at blueslipper.org or by calling 222-7720.