In 1950, in Key West, playwright Tennessee Williams finished a second draft of “The Rose Tattoo,” a play he had begun the year before in Rome. Williams called this draft the “kitchen sink” draft, reasoning that “I have thrown into it every dramatic element I could think of. Perhaps all of them will work. Perhaps none of them will work. Probably a few of them will work.”
A few of Williams’ annotations in pencil can be seen on this draft:
Williams showed this draft to director Elia Kazan, who felt it still needed work. Williams went through several more drafts before the play opened on Broadway on February 3, 1951. The play subsequently won Williams a Tony award for Best Play in 1951.
Williams stated in his note to the draft that he wanted “the male part to be offered to Marlon Brando.” Eli Wallach was cast instead, opposite Maureen Stapleton, who both went on to win Tony awards for their performances in the play.
MS Am 2660. Purchased with the Douglass Roby Fund for the Harvard College Library and with funds from the Amy Lowell Trust. Images may not be reproduced without permission.
The A kitchen sink “Tattoo” by Modern Books and Manuscripts, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Terms and conditions beyond the scope of this license may be available at blogs.law.harvard.edu.