The Battle of Angels

Battle of Angels Williams’ first Broadway production, produced in 1940, closed after 2 weeks in New York. This early failure taught the young playwright Williams two key lessons.

First, Tennessee says he felt gullible at the time as he let in a lot of changes of which he did not approve into the final production of Battle. When the play opened in Boston it was torn apart. Tennessee says the Theatre Guild messed up his Battle of Angels – “which is the best play I’ve written yet; it may not be quite so polished as the one that is now on but it has an epic quality, it has sweep, and I think that is more desirable than finish.”

However, on the other hand, he also said, “I’m glad now that the play was not a success,” Williams says. “If it had been it would have gone to my head and I would have thought I knew all there was to know about playwriting. As it was, I was forced to realize I had much to learn so I set out to learn it.”

After Battle of Angels closed he felt ridiculously oversold and started publishing poetry and short stories. He was a known playwright without a known play. On his notoriety after Battle “I was in the peculiar position of being fairly well known in the theater, but having no productions.” 

Join Eclipse this spring in their production of Williams’ first full length play, Candles to the Sun.  

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