A South African Hamlet performed in a shallow tank of water at Fisherman’s Wharf. A drum-fueled, outdoor production of Ten Blocks on the Camino Real imported from Ghana. Pericles staged on board the 66-foot Rose Dorothea fishing schooner.
These were just a few of the colorful, international shows that made up our 12th annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, held from Sept 21-24, 2017.
We presented plays by Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare: the two great poet playwrights of the English language. The four-day extravaganza presented shows and events all over Provincetown, performed by theater companies from around the world. Audiences experienced Williams and Shakespeare side by side, offering a new understanding of both masters.
In Curator David Kaplan's own words, "Shakespeare and Williams mastered their craft while living in turbulent times. For Shakespeare, the death of his only son in the year the queen of England died; for Williams, the death of his long-time lover in the year the president died. In these periods of Williams’ and Shakespeare’s writing, water recurs as an image of instability. Both has twenty more years to live, and in that score of years their plays upended conventional ideas of what was farce and what was tragedy in a world for them turned as suddenly unstable as a ship in a storm."
The 2017 shows included Hamlet at the Wharf by Cape Town’s Abrahamse-Meyer Productions, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real by the National Theatre of Ghana, and a new production of Pericles by DieCast, a Philadelphia ensemble adept at performing in non-theater spaces.
The program also included Abrahamse-Meyer’s Sweet Bird of Youth starring South African film and stage star Fiona Ramsay, the 2017 Hotel Plays staged throughout various rooms of the historic Gifford House by the Spectrum Theatre Ensemble from Providence, and a fusion of Shakespeare’s clowning and Williams’ grotesque humor called Dumb Show and Noise featuring professional clown Jay Stewart.
Rounding out the Festival were a lovely and lunatic staging of the Williams one-act The Gnädiges Fräulein from Texas Tech University, directed by Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin, and a special Sunday performance of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, directed by Festival Curator David Kaplan with an international cast including Robertson Dean, Marcel Meyer, TC Meltem from the National Theater of Turkey, AB Abenyi from the National Theater of Ghana, and the legendary Everett Quinton from New York City’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
The Festival also featured educational classes, parties, donor events, movies, and musical events. Click here for more show details.