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Walnut Street Theater Keeps Tennessee Williams’ Work Alive

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was 28 years ago this month (the 26th of February) we lost one of the country’s greatest playwrights. Of course, the plays of Tennessee Williams are still with us wherever gifted actors put life into his words.

Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater has been significant  in Tennessee Williams’ creative life.

In the fall of 1947, Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” was introduced on the Walnut Street Theater’s stage, prior to its history-making run on Broadway. It was the play that launched the career of Marlon Brando.

Now, Williams pioneering autobiographical play “The Glass Menagerie” is winding up its limited run in a few days at the Walnut’s  Independence Studio Theater prior to the Walnut’s first-ever national tour.

What makes Tennessee Williams the creative giant of modern theater?

Someone put the question to Tennessee years ago  in Boston.

“I think my main objective is to create the exact quality of life,” Williams says. “I don’t think life as we live it from day-to-day just as human beings. I think the meaning of it escapes us and what we’re trying to do in our artistic labor is to find that meaning.”

The Walnut Street Theater — America’s oldest theater — saluting the career of Tennessee Williams.

Reported by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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