The Two-Character Play (Out Cry) by Tennessee Williams
September 7 -25, 2022
The Bluver Theatre at The Drake
302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Reality and fantasy are interwoven with terrifying power as two actors on tour―brother and sister―find themselves deserted by the trope in a decrepit "state theatre in an unknown state."
Faced (perhaps) by an audience expecting a performance, they enact "The Two-Character Play"―an illusions within an illusion, and "out cry" from isolation, panic and fear.
"I think it is my most beautiful play since Streetcar," Tennessee Williams said, "and I've never stopped working on it....It is a cri de coeur, but then all creative work, all life, in a sense is a cri de coeur."
In the course of its evolution, several earlier versions of The Two-Character Play have been produced. The first, in 1967 in London and Chicago; the next, staged in 1973 in New York under the title Out Cry, was published by New Directions in 1973. The third version, produced in New York in 1975, was again titled The Two-Character Play, and is the one Tennessee Williams wished to include in New Directions' The Theatre of Tennessee Williams series.
"...a rarely-seen fever dream...an eternal folie à deux...they don't just strike sparks.
They're a raging conflagration that keeps changing form and direction.
Low on plot and high on poetry, it presents the painful spectacle of a talented, desperate mind chasing itself in circles."
--Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"A doctor once told me that we were the bravest people he knew. I said "Why, that’s absurd, my brother and I are terrified of our shadows." And he said, "Yes, I know, and that’s why I admire your courage so much…"”--Clare, from The Two-Character Play