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dc.contributor.authorMcCoy, Chris
dc.descriptionThis paper was presented at the 39th Annual William Inge Theater Festival & Conference hosted by the William Inge Center for the Arts in April 2022.en_US
dc.description.abstractTerry Teachout’s 2017 play, Billy and Me, imagines two fictional encounters between Tennessee Williams and William Inge: first, in a bar in Chicago in 1944 immediately following a pre-Broadway tryout of The Glass Menagerie, then in New York in 1959 following the premiere of Inge’s A Loss of Roses. Through fictional dialogue, Teachout builds upon the historical relationship between these two playwrights to imagine the conversations that must have connected them as two midcentury gay playwrights in America: success and failure, sexual conquests, relationships, and addiction. In this way, Teachout’s play attempts to “uncloset” the issues that were at the heart of Williams’ and Inge’s life and work. Through a comparative analysis of specific characters and situations in their plays, this paper explores how the representation of white, gay male identity varies from the closet dramas of Williams and Inge to the uncloseted and celebrated representation of sexual identity in the theatre of today.

Teachout was the lead drama critic for The Wall Street Journal, playwright of Satchmo at the Waldorf, and author or editor of nearly eight books until his untimely death in 2022. His passion and respect for the writing and craft of America’s midcentury playwrights is apparent in the text of Billy and Me, which has had three productions up until now, providing an interesting study in how this work revivifies its historical subjects through both content as well as form.
dc.publisherWilliam Inge Center for the Artsen_US
dc.titleUncloseting Drama: Tennessee Williams, William Inge, and Gay Identity in Terry Teachout's Billy and Meen_US

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  • Inge Digital Collection [18]
    The Inge Digital collection contains scholarly conference papers presented at the annual William Inge Theatre Festival, held at Independence Community College, in Independence, KS. The Independence Community College library is the curator of the William Inge Collection, home of over 400 manuscripts by William Inge donated primarily by Inge and his family, as well as press clippings, memorabilia and books.

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