blackbirdonline journalFall 2012 Vol. 11 No. 2

Unseen Character (part 2)

David Roby’s Notes on Unseen Character
  Nine Selections from Unseen Character
       Champ Laughlin
       The Wainwright Boy
       Mr. Garfinkel
       The Fat Lady
       Amanda's Mother
       Ella Cartwright
       Mr. Mendoza
       Betty's Aunt
Review | My Friend Tom:
The Poet-Playwright Tennessee Williams
, by William Jay Smith

David Roby’s eighteen monologues from characters mentioned but unseen in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams provide the particular pleasure of watching individuals limned with authority under the confines of a short scene.

They also introduce new avenues through which to explore Williams’s play, giving voice to a chorus that serves up an effective midrash commentary on the lives of the Wingfields and their gentleman caller. Blackbird v10n2 published an initial selection of nine of these monologues. Appearing here are the remaining pieces.

As the Tennessee Williams Playwright in Residence at the University of the South/Sewanee, Roby has chosen to use his residency in part to pay homage to Williams on the centennial of his birth. Unseen Character thus works both as tribute and as stand-alone theatrical experience.

A brief biography of Williams along with some discussion of the evolution of The Glass Menagerie from stage production to screen accompanies this suite in our earlier issue and is republished here as well.  end

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