CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
University Theatres updates 'Summer and Smoke' with Williams' revision
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The season brochure of University Theatres at the
University of Iowa announced a Feb. 5-15 golden anniversary production
of "Summer and Smoke" by the UI's most illustrious playwriting
alumnus, Tennessee Williams. But instead of the "Summer and Smoke"
script that was produced on Broadway 50 years ago, the UI department of
theatre arts has now decided to present Williams' preferred revision of
the story and characters, a script that he titled "The Eccentricities
of a Nightingale."
In his forward to the published script of "The Eccentricities of
a Nightingale," Williams wrote: "I wrote (the revision) in Rome
one summer and brought it with me to London the fall that 'Summer and Smoke'
was about to be produced there. But I arrived with it too late. The original
version of the play was already in rehearsal."
"The Eccentricities of a Nightingale" uses the same characters
and the same locale as "Summer and Smoke," but Williams wrote,
"I think 'The Eccentricities of a Nightingale' is a substantially
different play from 'Summer and Smoke,' and I prefer it. It is less conventional
Williams expressed the hope that the publication of "The Eccentricities
of a Nightingale" would lead to a production on Broadway that would
confirm his conviction that this "radically different version of the
play" was a superior script, but his hope was unfulfilled. But this
season, audiences of University Theatres Mainstage will have the opportunity
to see the version of the play that Williams preferred.
The production's director, John Cameron, says, "I think Mr. Williams
would be thrilled to know that his alma mater is producing 'Nightingale'
in honor of the 'Summer and Smoke' anniversary."
University Theatres tickets and subscriptions are available at the Hancher
box office. Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11
a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or
outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western
Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may
be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge
their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may
select the option of payroll deduction. People with special needs for access,
seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is
equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.