On judging a book by its cover: Depending on the p.o.v., one could either be drawn into or turned off by the depiction of an unseasoned, nubile, nude Tennessee (cut off discreetly at the waist) against a vibrant blue background above the dunes and edged in shocking pink. Since this is a slim paperbound volume, some snap judgments might be drawn. They would most likely all be wrong. What Kaplan, Williams specialist and "curator" of the newly inaugurated Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, has done is to produce a carefully researched scholarly monograph concentrating on the four summers (1940, 41, 44, 47) that Williams spent in P-town.... Much of the story told here by Kaplan is new material. He dug into archives, interviewed many survivors of the P-town days, and found the original text of the one-act play "The Parade," that was wrenched from the anguished Williams after the loss of his first love Kip Kiernan (Bernard Dubowsky), a twenty-two year old Canadian dancer. The play, says Kaplan, written in July and August of 1940, was lost, like the love it depicts, and not rediscovered until years later.... Recommended for all theater collections and personally for Williams afficionados. RICHARD M. BUCK, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Retired). Copyright 2007 Theatre Library Association. All rights reserved. --Broadside, vol 34, no 2 (Winter 2007)
About the Author
David Kaplan is an author and theater director who stages plays around the world with professional companies in indigenous languages and settings. He is a former Fellow at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, Texas, the repository of Tennessee Williams' literary estate. He has experience directing Williams' repertory around the world. In 2003 Mr. Kaplan staged Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale in Cantonese at the Hong Kong Repertory Theater. Seasons past include directing the first Russian production of Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer (the subject of a TASS documentary), a Sufi King Lear in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, performed in the Uzbek language and broadcast on Uzbek television; Genet's The Maids in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia, performed in Mongolian. In America he has staged his own adaptation of The Circus of Dr. Lao in Los Angeles, Tennessee Williams' The Traveling Companion at WestBeth in New York, and Williams' Frosted Glass Coffins in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. David Kaplan is also the author of Five Approaches to Acting (West Broadway Press, Spring 2001, Italian edition, Dino Audino Editore, Roma September 2003) and articles on such varied subjects as Eudora Welty and Andres Segovia, the history of Shakespeare productions in Central Asia, the American monologist Ruth Draper, the twenty-first century freaks of Coney Island USA. His translations of Chinese poetry from eighteenth century Japan will appear in the journal Alehouse early 2007.