In Masks Outrageous and Austere, With Shirley Knight, Will Shutter Early Off-Broadway | Playbill

News In Masks Outrageous and Austere, With Shirley Knight, Will Shutter Early Off-Broadway
In Masks Outrageous and Austere, the final full-length play by the late Tennessee Williams, starring Shirley Knight, Alison Fraser and Sam Underwood, will end its run earlier than expected, on May 13, at the Culture Project.

Sam Underwood and Robert Beitzel
Sam Underwood and Robert Beitzel Photo by Carol Rosegg

David Schweizer directed the production that began previews April 6 and officially opened Off-Broadway April 16. Performances were originally scheduled through May 26. It is produced by Victor Syrmis and Carl Rumbaugh, along with the Culture Project.

Tony winner Shirley Knight leads the cast as Babe Foxworth, alongside Scot Charles Anderson, Kaolin Bass, Robert Beitzel, Connor Buckley, Alison Fraser, Christopher Halladay, Ward Horton, Jonathan Kim, Jermaine Miles, Pamela Shaw and Sam Underwood.

With In Masks Outrageous and Austere, Tennessee Williams, according to Culture Project, continues to "explore the passionate obsessions that made him famous in the early masterworks — the impenetrability of the human heart, the futility and hypocrisy of denying or displacing physical attraction, the power of love and its tyranny—while employing the dramaturgical freedom and aesthetic daring he discovered in his later plays. And all of this he does with the provocative wit and lyricism that was his hallmark."

"Masks is a sublimely haunting piece of theatre and feels almost uncanny in its expressiveness as Tennessee's farewell piece," added director Schweizer. "There are utterly surprising, surreal theatrical gestures here, but also a deeply rooted, passionate sense of yearning that only he can evoke in the theatre. I knew Tennessee when I was a young man and he was exactly the age that I am now, and I feel privileged to bring this astonishing work in all of its explosive theatricality, to the stage."

Read the recent Playbill feature in which we picked five of Tennessee Williams' most memorable divas. The creative team comprises Jim Noone (set design), Gabriel Berry (costume design), Alexander V. Nichols (lighting design), Dan Moses Schreier (sound design), Darrel Maloney (projections and visual effects) and Joe E. Jeffreys (dramaturg).

Shirley Knight won a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play for Kennedy's Children and was nominated for a Best Actress Tony for The Young Man From Atlanta. She was Oscar-nominated for "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and "Sweet Bird of Youth."

Read more about Tennessee Williams in the Playbill Vault.

For tickets, phone (866) 811-4111 or visit

Robert Beitzel, Shirley Knight and Sam Underwood
Robert Beitzel, Shirley Knight and Sam Underwood Photo by Carol Rosegg

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