Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Theater by Tennessee Williams
The sensuality and excitement of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of two brothers (and their wives) vying for the inheritance of their dying father, Big Daddy, amid a whirlwind of sexuality untethered (in the person of Maggie the Cat), and the burden of love repressed (in the person of her husband, Brick Pollitt). Williams, as he so often did with his plays, rewrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for many years—this version was prepared by Williams for the American Shakespeare Festival production in 1974, with all the changes that satisfied the playwright’s desire for a definitive text. Edward Albee, one of America’s greatest living playwrights (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, Three Tall Women, The Play About the Baby) as well as a friend and colleague of Williams, has written a concise and perceptive introduction from a playwright’s perspective. This edition also includes a short chronology of the author’s life and works; Williams’ essay “Author and Director: A Delicate Situation”; as well as the insightful “Swinging a Cat,” in which Williams scholar Brian Parker describes the various versions, rewrites, and changes Williams made to Cat over more than twenty years.