Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Gregory Morris
Audition Dates: March 4 at 1pm, March 5 at 2pm
Tennessee Williams’ 1955 classic of American Drama received the author’s second Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Showcasing a deeply dysfunctional southern family in a moment of transition, this piece captured a new era of highly realistic staging.
Brick is offstage taking a shower. Maggie, in her slip, frets that his brother Gooper and wife Mae have been having their horrible children perform for Big Daddy, incessantly reminding them all of Maggie’s own childlessness. With Big Daddy having a terminal cancer, Mae and Gooper are trying every angle to secure the majority of the inheritance for themselves.
Brick was a high school athlete, and is try to keep his physique; however, he is a bit laid up and on crutches as he broke his ankle (the drinking is also not helping). Maggie is confident of their advantage, because Big Daddy prefers Brick. Suddenly Maggie catches sight of Brick staring at her in the mirror. She cries that she knows she has become hard and frantic, she feels like a “cat on a hot tin roof.”
To change the subject and to take her own mind of the subject she attempts to instigate intimacy, but Brick has no interest. Maggie murmurs she has realized her mistake: she should not have confessed to a brief affair with Brick’s friend, Skipper. There is also the implication that Brick and Skipper shared a bit more than friendship. Threatening to kill her, Brick throws his crutch at her. Maggie insists that now is her time of the month to conceive and they must make love. Brick wonders how she plans to have a child by a man who cannot stand her.
Following is the strange and tense family interactions Daddy bellows for Brick. Maggie delivers him, giving him a kiss on the mouth that he immediately wipes off. Daddy asks Brick why he wiped off her kiss. Mae and Gooper have been saying that he won’t sleep with Maggie. Brick continues to drink despite his father’s disapproval.
Drawing Brick close, Daddy recalls his world tour with Mama. He anxiously closes the doors and asks if Brick has ever been terrified of anything. He aims to cut loose and get himself a woman.. Daddy makes Brick a deal: he will give him a drink if he tells him why he drinks. Daddy knows that Brick is lying since he started drinking when Skipper died. Daddy asks if there was something “abnormal” in their friendship.
Daddy replies that having just come from “death’s country,” he is not easily shocked. Brick insists that his friendship with Skipper was clean and true until Maggie got the idea Daddy is talking about. Upon his back injury, she put the idea into Skipper’s head, and he became a lush and died. Daddy knows he is not telling the full story and Brick says that Skipper made a drunken confession to him over the phone, and Brick hung up on him. Brick’s disgust with mendacity is disgust with himself. Daddy curses the “lying dying liars” around him and goes to bed.
Mae appears, and the family soon follows. Now that Daddy has gone to bed, they can finally talk. The family surrounds Mama and begins to tell her of Daddy’s cancer. Mama calls for Brick, her “only son.” She implores Maggie to help straighten Brick out so he can take over the place. Gooper and Mae present Mama with a drafted will and Mama rejects it in disgust.
Mama hugs Brick, begging him to provide Big Daddy with a grandson before he dies. Suddenly Maggie announces that she and Brick are to have a child. Sobbing, Mama flees jubilantly to tell Big Daddy. Mae accuses Maggie of lying. Maggie thanks Brick for saving her face. Maggieand gathers Brick’s liquor bottles as he exits and locks them away. Desperately she declares her love for him. The distant Brick can only reply: “Wouldn’t it be funny if that was true?”