William Jay Smith’s The Straw Market
The Straw Market premiered in 1966 at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where Smith was then serving as a writer-in-residence.
This satirical play revolves around the lives of naïve expatriate American artists living in Florence shortly after World War II.
The play was directed by New Yorker Harold Stone, who was then known for his 1963 off-Broadway production of In White America. The original cast featured actors Tom Lingon and Eleanor Wilson.
The Modern Literature Collection includes an extensively edited typescript draft of The Straw Market filled with corrections, marginalia, and other clues into Smith’s creative process. The MLC‘s draft of The Straw Market can be viewed here: http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/mlc50/william-jay-smith/plays