SEPTEMBER 23 - 26, 2021

Will Mr. Merriwether Return From Memphis? at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Will Mr. Merriwether Return From Memphis?

by Tennessee Williams

For every shadow there is a bright light shining in this high-spirited ghost story, a play with music and dance accompanied by banjo.
directed by Jeff Glickman

Pensacola Little Theatre

Pensacola, FL


This show was presented Sept 27-30, 2018
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“Pensive and muted, a violin to Camino Real’s trumpet, Mr. Merriwether laces together
reality and fantasy, the romantic spirit and the appearance of actual cultural heroes
of the past, such as Van Gogh and Rimbaud.”
Time magazine

In Bethesda, Mississippi, as the 19th century turns into the 20th, the widowed landlady Louise McBride pines for her former flame and star boarder, Mr. Merriwether. He’s a traveling salesman who went off to Memphis, and he’s been gone so long he might be dead.

To distract herself, Louise holds séances with Nora, her neighbor with a potty mouth and a heart of gold. But the ghosts they conjure, among them the ghost of Vincent Van Gogh, seem as lost in death as Nora and Louise are in life.

The play is produced by the Pensacola Little Theatre -- ongoing since 1936 -- with music composed for the banjo and performed by Jeff Glickman, whom Festival audiences will happily remember from his production of 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (2010).

About the Play

Life in Bethesda is a see-saw of head-turning opposites. While Louise pines for Mr. Merriwether, her young daughter Gloria enjoys a first brush with love. Bethesda society is so strait-laced it forces the licentious French teacher to flee town, but behind the Bethesda Court House lies Tiger Town, where folks go for furtive good times.

Written in 1969, unperformed until 1980, and not published until 2008, Will Mr. Merriwether Return from Memphis? is Tennessee Williams at play with a vision of the world as mythic and mundane. The Three Fates make a ghoulish guest appearance.

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