Title

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Project

Production

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Playwright

Tennessee Williams

Production Team

Class: Scenic Design III

Professor: R. Eric Stone

Production Type

Class Project

Date

Fall 2017

Budget for this Design Area

n/a

Comments by the Designer

Tennessee Williamsʼ classic play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is essentially a story about hiding secrets from yourself. It takes place on the Mississippi delta in a former plantation home owned by the Brickʼs father, Big Daddy. This is a world where everyone is hiding from themselves, yet all of their secrets are known to everyone around them. Brick is tortured by his secret and taboo love for his best friend, Big Momma hides from the fact that her marriage is loveless, Maggie won’t admit to herself that she will never have a child with Brick, and Big Daddy refuses to face the fact that he is dying. Yet, none of these dark secrets are actually secret. There are no secrets in this house.

Visually representing Brick’s struggle to repress his desires and hide himself in a house where there is no hiding, this world has no walls. What would be solid structures are replaced with frames and open space. There are no corners or rooms to hide in. Everything is exposed and the audience can see the movement and bustle of the house all around Brick and his wife Maggie’s room. Everyone spies on everyone. Big Momma listens through the doorway as she returns again and again to the phone conveniently placed across from Brick’s doorway. Their room opens out onto the wrap around gallery that is constantly inhabited by other family members. Even the bathroom provides no escape as it is a box onstage. There is nowhere to go. Brick’s movement is further restricted by his broken leg and the slight elevation changes throughout the space.

In the distance, there are the trees of the Delta, moss-covered and silhouetted against the setting sun. The roots and moss creep their way into the home, symbolizing the intrusion and invasion of Brick’s secrets. Stars dot the air showing a vast expanse of freedom that is just out of reach yet reminding us that this world is open and unsheltered from the elements, both emotionally and physically. We watch Brick from all sides as he destroys himself from shame and guilt and loneliness.

Student Type

MFA

Rights

Copyright 2020 Courtney Gaston

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