SEPTEMBER 26 - 29, 2019

The Night of the Iguana at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Night of the Iguana

by Tennessee Williams
DRAMA

South African and American artists stage Williams' vision of madness, endurance, and grace in a new production inspired by Japan's traditional Noh theater.


directed by Fred Abrahamse

featuring Alison Fraser, Marcel Meyer, and Everett Quinton

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions

Cape Town, South Africa

Performances

Ticket sales begin June 1

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The earthy widow Maxine Faulk runs a hotel at the edge of a Mexican cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On a rainy and turbulent night, the hotel becomes a sanctuary for the defrocked Reverend Shannon, terrorized by his loss of faith.

Shannon has rerouted and held hostage a tour group from a West Texas women's college. They're joined on the jungle cliff by a self-described New England spinster whose 97-year-old grandfather is “the world’s oldest living and practicing poet,” a family of grotesque Nazi vacationers, and an iguana tied by its throat under the veranda.

Considered among the finest of plays written by Williams, The Night of the Iguana is staged by director Fred Abrahamse, and features Broadway’s two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser, South African stage star Marcel Meyer, and the iconic Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions previously produced Hamlet and Sweet Bird of Youth at the Festival in 2017, as well as Desire Under the Elms in 2016, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and The Day On Which a Man Dies in 2015, Mishima’s The Lady Aoi in 2014, and Kingdom of Earth in 2013.

 


This production is part of the upcoming 2019 festival in September. The full season will be announced on the evening of June 1, at which point ticket sales begin online and by phone. Seating is limited, and shows will sell out. Buy a Festival Pass now and guarantee a seat at your shows.

About the Play

Often in a Noh play, a wandering monk asleep in the wilderness is haunted by a demonic dream. In The Night of the Iguana, the Reverend T. Laurence Shannon, a defrocked priest near madness, is terrorized by what he calls a spook. From out of the Mexican jungle the spook mocks Shannon’s loss of faith. When he calls out in agony, the three women who love him are powerless to help him -- or are they?

In his afterword to the play, "Acts of Grace," Kenneth Holditch wrote:

Tennessee was engaged most of his life in the struggle between the faith of his childhood and the growing skepticism brought on by the vicissitudes of life. With this play, the answer finally seems to have come so that like Hannah, although he has been “far from sure about God,” at this point he is no longer “as unsure as I was.”

This year's Festival staging is inspired by Japan’s Noh Theater, a form which can be said to have haunted Williams, infused with Williams appreciation for Yukio Mishima’s “Modern” Noh plays.

In addition to The Night of the Iguana, plays where Williams took on creating his own modern Noh include Suddenly Last Summer, The Day on Which a Man Dies, A Bar in a Tokyo Hotel, and Will Mr. Merriwether Return from Memphis?

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