Everyone Expects Me to Write Another Streetcarby Jeremy Lawrence
While researching his role for TW’s late short play The Traveling Companion, actor/adaptor Jeremy Lawrence came across decades of TW’s revelatory interviews. The words – and TW’s passionate self-contemplation late in life – inspired Lawrence to compile a new work for the stage with a text drawn from interviews granted to newspapers, magazines and radio stations -- along with letters, poetry and a few passages from the late plays. These bulletins from the front-lines of the avant-garde are issued by a veteran still eager to fight, to take risks, to dare, to confront his enemies, to defend, not his turf but his right to abandon his turf in search of new artistic territory . The play was first performed as a benefit in 2007 for the Abingdon Theater in New York, then in New Orleans at the Tennessee Williams Festival. Lawrence’s earlier show Talking Tennessee emphasized the positive aspects of the writer. This new work explores a darker side -- his breakdown and the miracle of the poem that rose from it “What’s Next on the Agenda, Mr. Williams?” Lawrence actually saw TW in the flesh once -- at the Shubert Theater in New Haven during the out of town performance of Outcry. Williams arrived midway during the performance with an entourage of bodybuilders, sat in a box and then left. “He’s finished,” Lawrence remembers his friends saying to each other. Mr. Williams was not.