Something Cloudy, Something Clear

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First edition cover
(New Directions)

Something Cloudy, Something Clear is an autobiographical play by Tennessee Williams that was originally written in 1941 as a short play titled The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer, which was produced posthumously in Provincetown in 2006. In 1962, Williams retitled and expanded The Parade into a full-length play that was first produced Off-Off-Broadway in 1981.[1][2] Both versions of the play are set on the wharfs of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and tell the story of a young playwright named August dealing with his unrequited homosexual love for another man.

The situations and characters in both were "clearly drawn from a very autobiographical foundation,"[3] with August's dilemma reflecting a relationship Williams had in Provincetown with "his actual lover for [one] summer, Kip Kiernan."[2] The Parade was written after a fight with Kiernan, and Williams reflected in 1962 that "[the version of Kip in that play] is very completely different from Kip as he was. When someone hurts us deeply, we no longer see them at all clearly. Not until time has put them back in focus."[1]

Williams' revised version of the play, titled Something Cloudy, Something Clear, opened on August 24, 1981 at The Bouwerie Lane Theatre in New York to unenthusiastic reviews.[3]

It received its British professional premiere at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2003 with James Hillier in the lead role as August, where it sold out for the entire run.


  1. ^ a b Leverich, Lyle (1995). Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams. New York: Crown. p. 364. ISBN 0-393-31663-7. 
  2. ^ a b Fritscher, Jack (2001-09-20). "We All Live on Half of Something" (pdf) (reprint ed.). Playbill. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  3. ^ a b Sanderson, Jordan, and Raymond W. Wachter. Something Cloudy, Something Clear (fee required), Literary Encyclopedia, 2005-03-03. Retrieved on 2007-05-30.