C1 Director of New Work Ilana Brownstein headed down to New Orleans in advance of the Boston opening of Tennessee Williams’ Green Eyes, and brought back this photo journal of Williams-associated landmarks. (All photos are by Ilana Brownstein and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.)
Tennessee Williams wrote the one-act Green Eyes in 1970, at a point in his career where the critics and public weren’t as kind as they once had been, and before he officially came out as gay (though to most it was no secret). His writing had changed with the times, becoming more direct, more sexually outre. This is certainly true in Green Eyes, a play that features a married heterosexual couple in a beastly battle that was a thin veil for the homosexual relationship Williams was really addressing. It was never workshopped or produced in TW’s lifetime, and received its first full production in early 2011.
The play is set in 1970, in the hotel room of a just-married couple, the husband on leave from service in Vietnam. Travis Chamberlain has talked of the play this way: “In a single electrifying scene, Green Eyes restages the horrors of war as an unhinged lovers’ quarrel, exploring the disturbing subjectivities that exist in the grey areas where sadomasochistic desire and domestic violence overlap.” While the world of the play is 1970, Travis has also noted that the world inside the hotel room is timeless. Our slideshow below offers a few images that feel like the world of the play, if it were set now….