“Not About Nightingales” hits the stage

ASU Theatre takes on Tennessee Williams’ lost play

By Christian Hunick
On October 12, 2017

Photo by Brit Raley
Students perform an intense scene in Act III. "Not About Nightingales" is a play written by Tennessee Williams in the 1930’s, but it wasn’t discovered until the 1990’s.

ASU Theatre will open on Oct. 13 "Not About Nightingales," the story of a group of inmates go on a hunger strike to improve their situation.

The emotionally charged drama depicts the harsh realities of life in prison during the Great Depression, while a romantic relationship forms between Eva, the prison warden’s secretary, and a convict named Jim.

The play has themes of love, abuse, narcissistic sociopathy, hate, revenge and hope, said Dr. Bill Doll, ASU Theatre director.

Freshman Mitchel Doud plays the convict Jim, who works for the prison warden while waiting for parole.

"I auditioned because there is nothing like being on stage," said Doud. "Theatre is a dying art, and you have to take every chance you get to perform."

Junior Eric Valle portrays Butch, a smart talking convict who is seen as the leader of the inmates.

"Butch is really charismatic, and he likes playing intimidation mind games," said Valle.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Oct. 13-14 and 20-21, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Ticket sales are available for the general public. ASU students, faculty and staff enter for free.

"Not About Nightingales" is a Tony Award nominated drama written in the 1930s, although it remained unproduced until its 1998 world premiere at the Alley Theatre in Houston. The three-part play was inspired by a real incident in a Philadelphia prison in which several inmates died after being locked in a scalding steam room.

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