Tennessee Williams’ ‘blue’ bookA piece of literary history has returned to Washington University in St. Louis, thanks to a fortuitous find in a New Orleans bookstore. In 2004, Henry I. Schvey, Ph.D., professor and chair of the university’s Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, co-directed the world premiere of “Me, Vashya,” a one-act play written in 1937 by then-student Tennessee Williams. Only weeks later, Schvey happened upon another important Williams-related artifact from 1937: a small blue Washington University test booklet containing what appears to be Williams’ Greek final, which he had worried about passing, as well as a previously unknown poem. It is assumed Williams wrote the 17-line poem, which he appropriately titled “Blue Song,” in the back of the booklet while taking his exam.
Photo courtesy of Washington University ArchivesA Tennessee Williams play will be staged for the first time.Twenty years after his death, one of Tennessee Williams’ plays is seeing the light of a stage for the first time. “Me Vashya,” an early play by Williams, will receive its world premiere at Washington University in St. Louis in February. Written in 1937 while Williams was a student here and known as Tom, his birth name, the play has remained in Washington University archives for more than 60 years. It has never been published or performed — until now.