SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

Tennessee Williams Institute

Think you know Tennessee Williams? Think again.

The Tennessee Williams Institute is a graduate level immersion course (suitable for Masters and PhD candidates) offered annually in conjunction with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.

The course offers a new and expansive approach to the plays of Tennessee Williams for those who will shape his reputation in the future: up-and-coming directors, teachers, critics, scholars, designers, dramaturgs, producers, playwrights, and actors.

TWI was developed in 2012 by Festival Producing Director Charlene Donaghy and Mark Charney, Director of Texas Tech University's School of Theatre and Dance, with Thomas Keith, Festival Literary Manager and Williams' editor for New Directions.

TWI students participate in a series of private seminars with scholars who specialize in Tennessee Williams. Seminars will relate directly to live performance -- participants analyze and discuss Williams plays and then experience them in Festival productions, discovering where meaning unfolds in moments of action and stagecraft.

Emphasis is placed on the overtly theatrical elements found consistently in Williams’ plays from the 1930s to the 1980s; the unique theatrical aesthetic of Williams late work in content and performance; and the ongoing evolution of Williams’ reputation in the critical and popular imagination.

Photo by Steve Albert: Lanford Wilson at Captain Jack's Wharf, 2009.


To Make A Reservation

You can make a reservation now for single sessions or for all six

TWI Scholar Bios:

Luis Marcio Arnaut

Luis is a Brazilian independent Tennessee Williams researcher. He holds a Ph.D. in Performing Arts from The School of Communications and Arts at The University of Sao Paulo, granted with a thesis called The Tennessee Williams' Unknown, and Experimental Six One-act Late Plays from 1960 to 1980 decades: Approach, Analysis and Context of Female Characters, and he is a specialist in theater education. He published Tennessee Williams: Algo não dito [Tennessee Williams: Something Unspoken] and several articles about Williams’ works and career, in important Brazilian scientific magazines. He is a member of two theater companies, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Triptal Theater Company and L´Imaginatrice, working as dramaturg, translator and assistant consultant on Williams’ plays. He is also an Actor, Professor, and a Civil Engineer. Arnaut, along with Andre Garolli (Triptal Theater Company’s Director) and David Medeiros, presented the lecture “Tennessee Williams on the Brazilian Stage,” in the 14th edition of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival’s TWI.

Kate Bredeson

Kate is a theatre historian, director, and dramaturg. Her book Occupying the Stage: the Theater of May '68 is published by Northwestern University Press (2018). Her second book, A Lifetime of Resistance: the Diaries of Judith Malina 1947-2015 will be published by Routledge. She is currently a professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

She has published articles in PAJ, TDR, Theater, Theatre Symposium, Modern and Contemporary France, The Tennessee Williams Literary Journal, and Time Out Paris. She has essays in the books Postdramatic Theatre and Form (Bloomsbury, 2019), The Sixties, Center Stage: Mainstream and Popular Performances in a Turbulent Decade (Michigan, 2017), The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (Routledge, 2014), International Women Stage Directors (U. Illinois, 2013), and May 68: Rethinking France's Last Revolution (Palgrave, 2011). As a dramaturg, she has collaborated with the Court Theater in Chicago (Resident Dramaturg 2008-09), Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale Cabaret, Portland Playhouse, documentary filmmaker Eric Nordstrom, and choreographer Tahni Holt. Kate has taught at the University of Chicago, Dalhousie University, Yale University, and has been Visiting Associate Professor of Playwriting in the Hollins University MFA Playwriting program.

Claudia Wilsch Case

Claudia has taught theatre history and dramatic literature at Lehman College/City University of New York and in the Theatre Ph.D. Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University and serves on the executive board of the Theatre Library Association. Her work on modern and contemporary American and German theatre has appeared in Theater MagazineTheatre JournalThe Tennessee Williams Annual ReviewTheatre SymposiumPerforming Arts Resources, and TheatreForum and has been presented at national and international conferences, including ATHE, ASTR, and IFTR. Dr. Case is also a professional dramaturg and published translator, and she was commissioned by Theatre Communications Group to curate “Theatre in America,” a digital humanities project that chronicles the development of the not-for-profit professional theatre field in the United States.

She is the author of  “Inventing Tennessee Williams: The Theatre Guild and His First Professional Production” in The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, Issue 8 (2006).

David Kaplan

Curator David Kaplan at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in Provincetown. Photo by Josh Andrus

David Kaplan is Curator and co-founder of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and the author of the book Tennessee Williams in Provincetown. He is the editor of Tenn at One Hundred,  the centennial anthology on the subject of Tennessee Williams' reputation.

In 1993 he directed and designed the Russian premiere of Suddenly Last Summer in Russian at the Gorky Theater of Samara. In 2003 Mr. Kaplan directed Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale in Cantonese at the Hong Kong Repertory Theater, and in 2008 in Chicago, he staged the critically acclaimed world premiere of Williams' The Day on Which a Man Dies.

Other Williams plays he’s directed: The Dog Enchanted by the Divine ViewTalk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me ListenFrosted Glass CoffinsA Perfect Analysis Given by a ParrotThe Traveling CompanionThe Chalky White Substance and Ten Blocks on the Camino Real in Uruguay and Ghana.

For decades he has staged cultural collisions of classic Western texts in unexpected languages: a Sufi King Lear in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, performed in the Uzbek language; Genet’s The Maids in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia, performed in Mongolian; A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Buryatia, performed in the Buryat language. In Russia Mr. Kaplan directed the first Russian productions of Auntie Mame and Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! Also in Russia, Macbeth.

Plays directed by Mr. Kaplan have appeared in over 40 of the 50 United States. 

Thomas Keith

Thomas Keith is the Literary Manager for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. He edits the Williams titles for New Directions since 2002 and is responsible for bringing out much of Williams’ late work, including two full-length plays and four volumes of previously unpublished or uncollected one-actsMister Paradise and Other One-Act PlaysThe Traveling Companion and Other PlaysThe Magic Tower and Other One-Act PlaysNow The Cats With Jeweled Claws and Other One-Act Plays. His interviews with Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson (2008), Lanford Wilson (2009), William Jay Smith (2010), Mitch Douglas (2012), and John Lahr (2014) are Festival highlights.

Keith began his career as an actor in Sam Shepard’s Geography of a Horse Dreamer at La MaMa, followed by plays at The Public, Milwaukee Rep., Great Lakes Theater Festival, INTAR, Champlain Shakespeare, P.S. 122, and Naked Angels, with directors and playwrights including Tom O’Horgan, Edward Cornell, Irene Fornes, Terry Gilliam, John Vaccaro, Peter Hedges, Jeff Weiss, and Ellen Stewart.

Advisor to several Tennessee Williams Festivals. Keith served as dramaturg for Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell on their Glass Guignol at The Sundance Institute Theater Lab and elsewhere, and was Creative Producer for the Drama League-nominated Off-Broadway revival of The Mutilated. Keith has written extensively on Williams and is the co-editor of The Luck of Friendship: The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin (2018). He teaches at Pace University.

Rebecca Mark



Rebecca Mark will provide commentary to the Mae West movie "I'm No Angel"

Professor Mark is known for the Mae West portion of her "She Who Laughs Last: Standing Up to Patriarchy" course at Tulane. Rebecca is now the Director of the Institute for Women's Leadership at Rutgers.

Jacob Mchangama

Jacob is a Danish lawyer, human rights advocate, and social commentator. He is the founder and director of Justitia, a Copenhagen-based think tank focusing on human rights, freedom of speech, and the rule of law. Mchangama's mother, Ulla Danstrøm, is Danish, and his father, Said Mchangama, is from the Comoro Islands off the south-east coast of Africa.

He was an assistant professor in International Human Rights at the University of Copenhagen from 2005 to 2007, and an adjunct professor there from 2007 to 2012. Mchangama's writings have appeared in many publications, including the Danish newspapers Dagbladet Information and Berlingske, Minerva (Norwegian periodical), and the American journals National Review and Foreign Affairs.

From February 2018 to February 2020, Mchangama wrote and narrated a serial podcast, Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.

David Medeiros

David is a Brazilian Tennessee Williams researcher currently investigating the critical reception of Williams’ first plays staged in Brazil (from 1947 to 1964), at the Performing Arts Department in The School of Communications and Arts at The University of Sao Paulo. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and Literature from The College of Philosophy, Languages, and Human Sciences at The University of Sao Paulo. He is a translator and acted in his own adaptation of Williams’ This Property is Condemned and in a dramatic reading of William’s And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens..., directed by Luis Marcio Arnaut, at Escola SP de Teatro, part of an event created to discuss Williams’ works. He participated in the 14th edition of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival’s TWI, along with Luis Marcio Arnaut and Andre Garolli, in which they presented a lecture called “Tennessee Williams on the Brazilian Stage.”

Thomas Owen Mitchell

Tom is a professor of Acting and Theatre Studies for the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He chaired the Summer Theatre Program at Interlochen Center for the Arts and directed productions in Musical Theatre and Shakespeare. Mitchell served on the national committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and traveled the nation to review 56 productions by schools from Maine to Hawaii. He has directed five of Tennessee Williams’ earliest full-length plays including the 21st-century premieres of Candles to the Sun and Stairs to the Roof. He has authored essays, articles, and presentations on Williams' early career, and composed performances introducing these little-known works.

He is the author of "Tennessee Williams Wrestles with Race in Three Unpublished Works: 'Goat Song,' 'Heavenly Grass,' and 'Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor?'" in The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, Issue 18 (2019).

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