THE GNÄDIGES FRÄULEIN

[By Tennessee Williams]
PROVINCETOWN TW THEATER FESTIVAL

Produced by Texas Tech University *

SEPTEMBER 2017

Defying classification, The Gnädiges Fräulein is always two things at once. On its surface a comedy, complete with a Vaudevillian duo, Molly and Polly. Their pratfalls and slapstick live happily in the imaginary Cocaloony Key, where a colony of giant, pelican-like seabirds nest.

The heart of the play, however, lies with its tragic title character, an aging European cabaret sensation teetering on the brink of extinction, living on memories and thrown-away fish, “between the dark and the daylight.” Amid the cartoonish-seeming narrative, Williams skillfully weaves a mercilessly cruel, existential drama into the life-affirming and life-effacing fabric of comedy.

I was initially intimidated by this difficult late Williams work, but the surrealist production we created proved a successful framework for the play's equally comic and tragic points of view.

TEAM

Scenery & Lighting | Shannon Robert

Costumes | Cassandra Trautman

Sound & Music | Jacob Henry

Stage Manager | Rachel Campoli

Company Manager | Cory Norman

Venue Manager | Aryn Colonero

Producer | Mark Charney

Director | Jef Hall-Flavin

CAST

Polly | Rachel Hirshorn

Molly | Anthea Thompson

Fräulein | Francine Segal

Indian Joe | Ryan McCrary

Cocaloony | Randall Rapstine

Transient | Ian Leahy

* This production can be booked for touring

PHOTO GALLERY

[Ride Hamilton]

WHAT PEOPLE SAID

[HOWLROUND THEATRE COMMONS]

...directed by Festival Director Jef Hall-Flavin, the play’s ridiculous plot was sharpened rather than smoothed by three sensational comedic actresses and a set and costume design straight out of an expressionist cartoon. 

Derek McCormack

[HUFFINGTON POST]

Jef Hall-Flavin’s excellent production of this difficult but rewarding play achieved a balancing act all too rare when it comes to structurally hybrid works such as this.

Bess Rowan

© 2019 by Jef Hall-Flavin