The setting of each story is integral to its emotional ethos — long railroad tracks extending across the stage, an ethereally blue sea floor, cobalt dusk and the brilliant Pleiades in a college town, a rough cabin in a sun-baked yard — and Stewart's set design and Bryon Winn's elegant lighting are absolutely transporting. The ensemble, too, is excellent; these actors are dynamic, deft, and beautifully pitched to the intense desire, languor, and darkness that are a hallmark of Williams's work.

Hidden Tennessee's collection of works and biography has a prismatic effect that is a different theatrical experience from full immersion in a sustained narrative. It is a scintillating homage.

Megan Grumbling can be reached at mgrumbling@hotmail.com.

HIDDEN TENNESSEE | by Tennessee Williams | Directed by Sally Wood | Produced by Portland Stage Company | through March 28 | 207.774.0465

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