Week 1: Introduction to Williams
We will begin our explorations with a brief introduction to Tennessee Williams’s life, to gain an understanding of how the playwright’s experiences shaped his work. Then we will read one of his short one-act plays together and discuss his style and themes.
Week 2: A Streetcar Named Desire
We will start to explore Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire. We look at the play’s structure and meet its iconic characters. What does the world Williams creates say about America in 1948?
Week 3: Deeper into Streetcar
Having made an initial exploration, we will delve deeper into the work. Together we will talk about the major themes of the play and explore how they have been staged. How have society’s evolving perspectives on gender roles and expectations impacted our reception of the play?
Week 4: Introduction to Miller
After our exploration of Williams’s work, we will move on to Arthur Miller. Again, we share a brief introduction to Miller’s life and how it is reflected in his plays. Then we will read one of Miller’s one-act plays together to discover his voice and to compare and contrast it with Williams’s.
Week 5: Death of a Salesman
Miller’s play is an American gem and, as with Streetcar, we will spend this week looking at the play’s structure and characters, and the world Miller has created. We will also discuss the similarities and differences between Miller’s and Williams’s perspectives of America and what they are trying to say about it in their work.
Week 6: Deeper into Salesman
This week we will look more deeply into Salesman and discuss its main themes. What does Miller hope to achieve through his work? Is his perspective still valid today? We will also continue to compare it to Streetcar as of way of getting deeper into both plays and situate them within America theatre today.