Vieux Carréby Tennessee Williams
This haunting autobiographical play, set in a broken-down boardinghouse in New Orleans, reveals a young Tennessee Williams' musings on life through a series of interwoven vignettes, featuring a colorful array of characters.
directed by Brandt Reiter
KNOW TheatreBinghamton, NY
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Illustration by David Chick
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"Like a continuation of The Glass Menagerie... we see the young aspiring artist empathizing with the sad sordid lives around him."
— Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
About the Play
A fresh-faced young writer from St. Louis moves into a New Orleans boardinghouse in the French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré (pronounced "view ka-RAY"). Through the paper-thin walls of his tiny room he overhears lovers quarrel and make up. Down in the kitchen he's befriended by a lonesome harridan of a landlady. And a dying painter tries to warn him, unsuccessfully, about the perils of love and life.
Williams lived in such a boardinghouse in 1938, during which time he began taking notes for a play about the richness of his experience there. It wasn't until forty years later, in 1977, that Vieux Carré opened on Broadway.
About the Production
Based in Binghamton, NY, KNOW Theatre first produced Vieux Carré in 2013, directed by Brandt Reiter. The 2014 production stars Desiree Ledet, who played Mrs. Wire in The Lady of Larkspur Lotion for Provincetown's signature Hotel Plays this March at the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans.
Vieux Carré plays at Provincetown's historic Town Hall, recently renovated to its 1886 glory. The show will be staged in the round, in the center of the upper level of Town Hall, under a grand chandelier.
"It changes the dynamics of the play, because there's no place to hide," said KNOW's Artistic Director Tim Gleason in a recent interview with Binghamton's Press & Sun-Bulletin. Gleason plays an aging gay artist named Nightingale in the production. "Everywhere you turn, there's an audience. It adds a different energy to your character. You have to be inside of your character at any given moment."