Small Craft Warningsis set in a seaside bar on the coast of Southern California in the early 1970s, it offers a glimpse into the lives of the regulars who inhabit the bar as refuge from the storm of life.Impassioned by the anniversary of her "angelic" brother's death, Leona, a rowdy beautician, unleashes a fury of intolerance on her wayward drinking companions; a drunken ex-doctor who still practices illegally, an aging hustler, a homeless prostitute and a spineless short-order cook. Monk, the temperate and well-meaning barkeeper, tries to keep the peace as two newcomers, a cynical homosexual and his young pick-up look on.
Often considered the best play of Williams' 'Later Period', Small Craft Warnings blends the poetic realism of his early work with the stylized-theatricality of his later plays. Originally a one-act entitled Confessional, Williams expanded the play into the full-length Small Craft Warnings in 1971 after learning of a successful production in Bar Harbour, Maine. Small Craft Warnings was a ray of hope for Williams, who had just emerged from a personal and professional nadir. It was his testament to human isolation and an honest plea for acceptance and understanding.