http://www.shmoop.com http://www.enotes.com http://www.onlinereviewlondon.com “A play is always a reflection of its time. Social, political, economic and theatrical influences, all have their expression in theater” Tenessee Williams The play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof truly reflects its time but more then that it reflects the play write. The play takes place on one of the largest cotton plantations in the Mississippi Delta during the 1950s. It is summer, and man is it hot. The play is centered in Brick and Maggie's bedroom, Scruitinizes the family concept, the ideal American family .
he year of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof's debut, 1955, was an interesting time for male and female relationships, a pre-feminist/pre-gay rights era when ideas about alternative life styles were incubating, though not openly emerging. According to the era's social norms, there simply was no viable alternative for the traditional, mom, dad, and two children family pattern that was portrayed in television shows such as Father Knows Best; in reality, few American families came close to this idealized version of life. The 60s was when the revalution happened but this must meen that the 50s were when thing werer sterring up, under the surface, in the shadows
Brecht wished to create theatre that did more than just result in the audience feeling, but instead, in the audience thinking. Realism was a theatre movement that came to the forefront in the early 20th Century. It was the theory of Naturalism put into practice. It aimed to take a ‘slice of life', as such, and reproduce it on the stage. The proscenium arch acted as the fourth wall of a room, and the audience looked into this ‘laboratory-type' set up and examined what may happen to a real person. The movement was interested in looking at the complexity of the human psyche; analysing why it is humans act the way we do, thus the main challenge of the actor was to be as realistic and as close to life as possible. Now that we have had a very basic look at realism, we can understand that its premise was to take a ‘slice of life' and reproduce it on stage, as close to life as possible. To achieve this, certain guidelines or principles were established. For example, actors did not address the audience, and instead were trained to ‘become' the character they were playing: to feel their emotion and believe that they were living the characters life. The theory being ‘I feel it, therefore I am it.' Early 20th Century theatre also relied heavily on presenting the audience with situations that were familiar to them: either from real life or other theatre experiences. MAKING THE FAMILIAR STRANGE. theatre was no longer simply for art's sake, but for meaning's sake. Thomas Lanier Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911 to a family that his biographers are fond of comparing to the dysfunctional ones of his plays. Williams's father, Cornelius, was an inveterate gambler and drunkard whose indulgences kept the family constantly on the move. Williams's sister, Rose, was a schizophrenic ultimately forced to undergo a frontal lobotomy by their mother, Edwina. This event—recounted in Suddenly Last Summer—particularly horrified Williams, who became his sister's caretaker. In 1931 Williams left home to begin studies at the University of Missouri. While at school, he both received the nickname Tennessee from a college roommate and decided to become a playwright upon seeing a production of Ibsen's Ghosts. Williams's plans were abruptly thwarted by his father, who demanded that he leave school to come work at his shoe factory. There, he befriended a man named Stanley Kowalski, who would later appear as the antihero of his perhaps most famous play. Ultimately Williams resumed his schooling at Washington University, finishing his degree at the University of Iowa where he locally produced some of his plays. He then moved on to New Orleans where he staged his first major success with The Glass...
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