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Sweet Bird of Youthdrama in three acts by Tennessee Williams, published and produced in 1959 as an expanded version of Williams’s one-act play The Enemy: Time (1959). An ageing movie star, Alexandra del Lago - she uses a fake name of Princess Kosmonopolis- and her kept lover, Chance Wayne, travel to Chance’s Southern hometown to avoid what the princess assumes will be a negative reception of her latest movie. Chance is also a failure, having wasted his youth in the pursuit of fame. When the actress learns that her movie is in fact a success, she makes plans to leave and asks Chance to go with her. Chance has learned, however, that on a previous visit home he infected a local politician’s daughter with a venereal disease. He decides to stay and face his punishment, which he knows will be castration.


From this play a famous drama film (1962) with Geraldine Page and Paul Newman. The movie was censored and the end was changed in a classical happy one.


Tennessee Williams (March 26, 1911 - February 25, 1983) is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama.


Direction notes


In my version play is in two acts and I want to highlight what is in Williams' first one -act version: it's Time our common enemy.

St Cloud is a symbol of a different and foreign world, like a "cloud" is still in the same sky in a picture. Chance wants more, but he thinks that youth and beauty can be enough to reach success. But success is an illusion, illusion that we have to pay with sacrifice and effort and we'll be never sure to have it forever. Only Time is sure. It goes on, merciless. And we can only accept it.


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