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Suddenly Last Summer

Show Info

  • Written by:
    Tennessee Williams
  • Directed by:
    Nic Bernstein
  • Dates:
    April 11, 2018 - April 15, 2018
  • Show Times:
    Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM
    Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM
  • Location:
    Henry Heymann Theatre


Suddenly Last Summer

1936, in the Garden District of New Orleans. Mrs. Venable, an elderly widow from a prominent local family, has invited a doctor to her home. She talks nostalgically about her son Sebastian, a poet who died under mysterious circumstances in Spain the previous summer.   During the course of their conversation, she offers to make a generous donation to support the doctor’s psychiatric research if he will perform a lobotomy on Catharine, her niece, who has been confined to a private mental asylum at her expense since returning to America. Mrs. Venable is eager to “shut her up” once and for all, as she continues to “babble” about Sebastian’s violent death and “smash” her son’s reputation by hinting at his homosexuality.

 

Catharine arrives, followed by her impecunious mother and brother. They are also eager to suppress her version of events, since Mrs. Venable is threatening to keep Sebastian’s will in probate until she is satisfied.  But the doctor injects Catharine with a truth serum and she proceeds to give a scandalous account of Sebastian’s moral dissolution and the events leading up to his death, how he used her to “procure” young men for his sexual exploitation,  and how he was set upon, mutilated and partially “devoured” by a mob of starving children in the street.  Mrs. Venable launches herself at Catharine but she is prevented from striking her and taken off stage, screaming “cut this hideous story from her brain!” Far from being convinced of her insanity, however, the doctor believes her story could in fact be true.