The never-before-seen "American Gothic" imagines the famous Grant Wood couple as the stern Midwestern parents of Bonnie and Clyde-style gangsters.
Written prior to 1937, "American Gothic" was meant to be included in another well-known short play collection called "American Blues". For reasons that are still unclear to scholars, "American Gothic" was left out of the collection.
The play has never been performed, and a recent compilation from manuscript notes has been brought to the attention of the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Suggested by the famous Grant Wood painting of the same name, "American Gothic" takes place on the porch of a farm-house on the Great Plains during a drought. Williams imagines the iconic farm couple as disillusioned parents who must force their long-lost son to leave the house with his girlfriend when they find out they’ve been robbing banks. The couple has a “Bonnie and Clyde” quality, and the conservative parents have become as hardened as the baked earth they survey in the painting. Performed at the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Provincetown, MA, September, 2010.