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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Tennessee Williams
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 85
Pub. Date: 1958
ISBN-10: 0822201895
ISBN-13: 9780822201892
Cast Size: 5 female, 8 male, and 4 children

About the Play:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Winner of the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has long been a favourite of acting teachers for female monologues, female/male scenes, and male/male scenes.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a full-length drama by Tennessee Williams. In this Pulitzer Prize winner, a wealthy Southern patriarch faces impending death and manipulates his family, as his children squabble and mislead in desperate attempts to secure the family inheritance. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a modern tale of a world filled with people determined to keep secrets and lie while keeping up a certain appearance that feels particularly relevant in the age of social media and influencers. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a portrayal of what it takes to survive in a society where everyone is desperate to feel free. On a sweltering Mississippi night, the dysfunctional but wealthy Pollitt family gathers to celebrate the sixty-fifth birthday of Big Daddy, as they sentimentally dub him. But there is more to this gathering than a family party. Lurking under every interaction there is an ulterior motive, under every smile, a challenge, 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. The cat in the title refers to Maggie, Big Daddy's daughter-in-law, who wants to give him the news that she's finally become pregnant by Big Daddy's favourite son, former football hero 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 judgement 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. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is arguably Tennessee Williams' most celebrated play.

Cat on A Hot Tin Roof premiered in 1955 on Broadway at the Morosco Theater. Winner of the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Drama Critics Award for the best play, the show has enjoyed five Broadway revivals. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 8 male, and 4 children

What people say:

"…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

About the Playwright:

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the Episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St. Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evening writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955.

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