Forthcoming biography of playwright Tennessee Williams

American playwright Tennessee Williams whose great plays THE GLASS MENAGERIE, STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA highlighted the tragedy of human vulnerability to the point of despair, was a man of sorrow who either found little comfort in and/or was unable to surrender to the ways faith can transform sensitivity from tragedy to grace. That said, I have to note that CAT and IGUANA probably came as close as possible to grace-filled resolutions. Agree?

I am writing about Williams today as the NYTIMES features an excellent article about John Lahr’s upcoming bio on Williams that looks like it will be well worth the purchase for those of us who love the theatre and it’s potential to explore our meaning and purpose. John Lahr (son of the actor Burt Lahr, know for The Wizard of Oz on film and WAITING FOR GODOT on stage plus LAYS Potato Chips commercials in the 1960s) is one excellent and insightful writer and drama critic. Here’s the article:


Labor Day celebrates the blessing of work, earning a living, supporting a family and contributing to society. Work is part of the life-long adventure of self-discovery and service. Most religions of the world articulate this adventure as encounters with God. Christians may reflect today on Jesus and Joseph as carpenters and stone builders, Mary as marketing director (what wife and mother would not be promoting her husband and son’s business to all the women at the well and the men sitting at the village gates?), Peter, Andrew, James and John in their fishing enterprises, Matthew collecting taxes, Paul with his tent-making and Lidia in her purple dye industries. Add to these Mary Magdalene, Johanna and Susannah and other women supporting Jesus and the disciple’s work as itinerant preachers out of their resources (inheritance? Businesses of their own?). Clearly it takes all kinds of work to manifest God’s presence in the world and keep the faith conversation going!