PHW Hats Featured in Tennessee Williams Plays!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foggy (“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” – Mark Twain)

2 1/2 cups of coffee thus far

For the past two months, I, Paul 1, have been working on a very exciting theatre project: Designing costumes and hats for the three most famous Tennessee Williams shows! Can you guess which ones? Cat On A Hot Tin Roof? Yes, you are correct. A Streetcar Named Desire? Right again. And…Glass Menagerie? That’s the one! The shows are set in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, the perfect decades for dapper duds, and smashing chapeaus!

If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Tennessee or don’t know about these shows, here’s a little blurb about each one, and a little something about the man himself:

Tennessee Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for his plays A Streetcar Named Desire (1948) and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). He also earned two Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961). His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo won the Tony for Best Play. David Mamet referred to his writing as “the greatest dramatic poetry in the American language.”

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Set in the 1950’s)

Clawing hopes for the future and haunting sins of the past spar with one another at a Pollitt Family birthday party. Swarming around Brick, the beloved alcoholic son, are his conniving siblings and estranged wife, Maggie, all hoping to get a piece of Big Daddy’s fortune. Love, fortitude, and passion can set things right by evening’s end, but only if everyone agrees to believe their own lies.

A Streetcar Named Desire (Set in the 1940’s)

Fading Southern Belle debutante Blanche du Bois arrives at her sister’s dingy French Quarter apartment, becoming entangled in an explosive sultry world she is unaccustomed to. Set on a collision course, her brutish animalistic brother-in-law, Stanley, captivates and ultimately destroys the fragile woman. Using a bare-bones staging, live music, and ensemble-based theatricality, the denizens of Stella and Stanley’s New Orleans help to relate the tragic tale of a lost soul.

The Glass Menagerie (Set in the 1930’s)

Lost hopes and memories of despair are all that remain for Tom who is trapped in a mundane warehouse job. Cajoled by his overbearing mother to find a suitor for his crippled sister, Tom brings a gentleman caller home for dinner. Inflated dreams are quickly dashed as the evening crumbles under the pressure of the moment.

If those descriptions don’t sound interesting enough, the Boxcar Theatre is doing this project with a few twists; using the same group of actors for all three shows, using the same technical designers (sound, set, lights, and costumes) for all three, but, using 3 different directors. In a sense you, the audience, gets to experience the stories Tennessee Williams writes through three perspectives. In fact for each show where the audience gets to sit is different, some house seats are surrounding three sides of the show, one show its two sides, another its proscenium style.

So, come support local theatre, and the creations of Paul’s Hat Works! Starting with the preview of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof tomorrow at 8:00 pm, make the rest of your summer a thought provoking and inspired one, by going out and seeing all three shows for the very reasonable price of $40.00 for all three! More information, click here.


Still sewing and hatting frantically,

~ Paul