By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Jason Gerace
Raven’s final play of the season will be Tennessee Williams’s stark and poetic Suddenly Last Summer. Wealthy New Orleans socialite widow Violet Venable is trying to silence her niece Catherine, who, as the only witness to the murder of Violet’s son Sebastian, has been giving a horrifying description of the circumstances under which he was killed. Unwilling to accept either that account or other assertions about her son’s life, Mrs. Venable pursues extraordinary measures to keep Catherine quiet.
Suddenly, Last Summer originally opened on Broadway in 1958, toward the end of a 15-year period in which Williams produced his greatest and most popular works, from The Glass Menagerie (1944) through Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). The 1959 film adaptation starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift was a box office hit and earned Academy Award nominations for Hepburn and Taylor.