Drawn to Life

Al Hirschfeld and the Theater of Tennessee Williams

by Mark Cave and David Leopold

The Historic New Orleans Collection 2010
softcover • 8½" × 11" • 88 pp.
30 color images, 50 b/w images
ISBN 978-0-917860-58-4
$17.95 • £12.99

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Published in 2011 to commemorate the centennial of Tennessee Williams’s birth, Drawn to Life covers the six decades in which Al Hirschfeld (1903–2003) drew almost all of Williams’s productions, on and off Broadway, as well as two film adaptations, including his landmark series of works based on the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire. No other artist so thoroughly documented Tennessee Williams in the playwright’s own lifetime. Like Williams, Hirschfeld was unconstrained by reality, merging literal details with the playwright’s poetic vision. His contribution, Hirschfeld said, was to take the character and reinvent it for the reader. He created a fascinating archive of Williams’s career, one that gives viewers, then and now, a real sense of the performance and personality of the actors who inhabited these roles.