BY: Tennessee Williams
DIRECTED BY: Michael S. Pieper

CAST: Sean Marlow, Danny Belrose, Strat Taylor, Scott Cooper, John Gray, Valerie Fashman, Kristy Lockhart, Troy Lindsey, Bob Rokos, Anita Hoffman, Carolyn J. Bowyer, Shon Little, Michael Ludden, Anne Gregory, Sandra Walters
LIGHTING DESIGN: Richard Norwood
SET DESIGN: Michael S. Pieper
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michael Pieper

Jeff Recommended Production

“Pieper weaves the script’s pervasive images of corpses into a haunting atmosphere in which beauty and decay seem to hover over the stage.”
-Lucia Mauro, Chicago Sun-Times

Orpheus Descending…
– Tennessee Williams’ salacious masterpiece, where no-apologies individualism takes on KKK tyranny in the big Bible-belt brothel that was 1950’s Louisiana.

– The tale of Val and Lady, a romantic Maltov coctail, setting an archetypal Deep South county on fire, before they themselves meet the stake.

In 1940, Tennessee Williams, at the age of twenty-nine was able to see his play, Battle of Angels produced on Broadway. It was the first of a very long career of playwriting. Although the play was canceled after opening, Tennessee continued to rewrite it over the course of his life. Why did he stick so stubbornly to this play? Tennessee was quoted as saying, “Nothing is more precious to anybody than the emotional record of his youth and you will find the trail of my sleeve-worn heatr in this completed play that I now call Orpheus Descending. About 75% of it is new writing, but what is more important, I believe that I have finally managed to say in it what I wanted to say, and I feel that it now has in it a sort of emotional bridge between my early years and my present state of existence as a playwright. So much for the past and present. The future is called “perhaps” which is the only possible thing is to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.”

Michael S. Pieper
Michael is currently the Head of Acting at the Second city Training Center. He created this program almost nine years ago with the late Martin da Maat. He also was on the faculty of the United States International University of San Diego for 8 years and Artistic Director of the North Coast Repertory Theatre Conservatory in San Diego for four years. In Chicago, Michael was Artistic Director at the Boxer Rebellion Theatre and Resident Director/Artistic Associate at the Trap Door Theatre. He has been a Guest Director and Instructor at Northern Illinois University over the past 7 years. He has directed over 80 productions in his career. His plays have received 9 Jeff recommendations, 7 Jeff nominations, 3 Jeff citations and 5 After Dark Awards.

Opened: November 1998