‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ opens

Staged reading by CAST goes to the roots of Williams’ classic

CAST Theater and Columbia Center for the Arts present two nights of a staged reading of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. in the theater at the arts center, 215 Cascade Ave., Hood River.

This staged reading of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play is being directed by Richard Parker. It is the third in a series of staged readings that this year included “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Travesties.”

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father’s inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat.

The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred up, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that year.

Tickets are $5; available at the door. For more information visit www.columbia-arts.org.

NOTE: the play contains adult language and themes, and is suitable for mature youths ages 14 and up.

In staged readings, the actors read from scripts but incorporate movement and exits.

Director’s remarks

Here are selected comments by Richard Parker on this staging of “Cat,” which he said is one of Tennessee Williams’ “big three” along with “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Glass Menagerie.”

“In a lot of ways ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ is just about his most perfectly constructed play,” Parker said. “It takes place in real time, with everything happening in one evening.”

(Running time is about two and a half hours, with two intermissions.)

The second and third acts pick up at exactly where the previous act left off.

“We’re doing what Williams considers his definitive version, staged in early 1970s on Broadway,” Parker said. “It restored a lot of things that were left out of the original production,” in the mid-1950s.

“Williams is one of our great American playwrights and it’s good to rediscover it. If you have seen the film ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ you can see this production and see what Williams had intended.”

Cast list: Desiree Amyx-Mackintosh as Maggie, Kevin Fann as Brick, Ken McCarty as Big Daddy, Brenda Haring as Big Mama, David Dye as Cooper, Kathleen Morrow as Mae, Jason Carpenter as Rev. Tolker and Joe Garoutte as Dr. Baugh.

Youths Davis Mackintosh and Tyr Anderson are also in the production.

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