Tennessee Williams in Dallas

by Paula Bosse

tennessee-williams_margo-jones_legacies_spring-2007Tennessee Williams with Margo Jones, 1948 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Today is Tennessee Williams’ birthday — he was born March 26, 1911. Thanks to his personal friendship and professional relationship with energetic Dallas theater pioneer Margo Jones (to whom he gave the nickname “The Texas Tornado”), playwright Tennessee Williams was a fairly frequent visitor to Dallas in the 1940s in the early years of his celebrity. Margo was a very early supporter of Williams, and their friendship led to her co-directing The Glass Menagerie on Broadway and her directing and producing the world premiere of his play Summer and Smoke at her Theater ’47 in Fair Park (a production which she took to Broadway the following year).

So, in honor of Tennessee’s birthday, a few photos of Tennessee with Margo, and links to a couple of articles about the time he spent in Dallas.

The three photos I’m posting here of Tennessee with Margo (including the one at the top) appear to have been taken on the same day — during rehearsals for the Broadway debut of Summer and Smoke (taken, I think, in New York, in the summer of 1948).


tennessee-williams_dmn_082648-captionDallas Morning News, Aug. 26, 1948


Dallas historian Darwin Payne wrote an interesting profile of Williams’ time in Dallas in the Spring 2007 issue of Legacies (read it here — it  begins at the bottom of the page). My favorite quote in the article is about Dallas women, from a letter Tennessee wrote to New York theater director and producer Guthrie McClintic on June 1, 1945:



A comprehensive chronology of the friendship and professional partnership of Tennessee Williams and Margo Jones can be found in the article “An Alignment of Stars: Tennessee Williams, William Inge, and Margo Jones’s ‘Theatre ’47′” by Ralph F. Voss, here.

My previous post concerning Margo Jones’ early demise — “Margo Jones & Jim Beck: Both Legends in Their Fields, Both Victims of Carbon Tetrachloride” — is here.

Pictures larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.