Hilton Als is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His first book, The Women, a meditation on gender, race, and personal identity, was published in 1996. He was awarded a Guggenheim for Creative Writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. Als lives in New York City.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, directed by Liv Ullmann and performed by the Sydney Theatre Company
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Gordon Edelstein
Milk a film directed by Gus Van Sant
Chicago a film directed by Rob Marshall, based on the musical by Bob Fosse
Last spring in Berlin, Peter Doig and Hilton Als co-curated an exhibition of portraits—mostly by young, unrecognized or forgotten artists—a show that included a rare look at the work of the remarkable but little known 20th-century Trinidadian painter Boscoe Holder (1921–2007).
At one point during Blanche’s final mad scene in the Sydney Theater Company’s much discussed revival of Tennessee Williams’s modern-day masterwork, which just concluded its sold-out run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a woman sitting across the row from me began to sob uncontrollably. Despite her obvious pain, she could not look away from the stage’s brightly lit scene of daytime disaster. One wondered about the source of that spectator’s tears. Was it the sight of Blanche being led to her dark future, her sister Stella’s flush cheeked confusion, or both?