SEPTEMBER 26 - 29, 2019


September 2012

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Kingdom of Earth

by Tennessee Williams
A rarely-performed Tennessee Williams play comes to Provincetown from Cape Town, South Africa.
directed by Fred Abrahamse

Artscape in association with Abrahamse-Meyer Productions

Cape Town, South Africa

Epilogue to the Kingdom of Earth - Charcoal study by Bill Evaul for the provincetown Tennessee Willliams Theater FestivalKingdom of Earth

A tall tale with a newly composed score.


From Cape Town South Africa comes Tennessee Williams’ tale of red-headed Myrtle, the former "Petite Personality Kid," who just got married to her husband Lot on a television show. Now Lot’s taking Myrtle back to the old family farm, though he hasn’t mentioned his half-brother Chicken lives on the place.

"MYRTLE: I'm nervous enough to scream.
CHICKEN: Don't scream. Sing!
                    Sing some other old song.
MYRTLE: Like, uh—what? "

The play is thought more highly of outside of America than at home. In May of 2011, Michael Billington of London’s Guardian hailed the text for “a carnal vigour, linguistic vitality and comic desperation” and since the 1980s, Vitaly Vulf, the great Russian Tennessee Williams translator and critic, has urged the play be considered as myth. 

...grace of language and merciful tenderness
for the lonely, misplaced, soft people of the earth
shine through ludicrous details of what Williams called 'my funny melodrama.'
- Alvin Klein, NY Times (2001)

Fred Abrahamse - Director - Kingdom of Earth - Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival 

The Company:

Produced by Arstcape (Cape Town's premiere theatre venue) in association with Abrahamse & Meyer Productions, the play is directed by Fred Abrahamse (left) and includes a newly commissioned soundscape and score for the play written by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, one of South Africa’s top composers. 

Founded in 2006 by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer (below, left), this is one of the only independent classical theatre companies in South Africa, with a successful track record of well-received, ambitious productions.


Marcel Meyer - Actor and Designer - Kingdom of Earth - Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Their diverse productions include the award-winning South African première of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Richard III, an award-winning revival of Sir Noël Coward’s Private Lives.

This is the company’s first American appearance.





Charl-Johan Lingenfelder - Composer - Kindgdom of Earth - Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Composer:

Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (left) has won South African and international acclaim as both a composer and top musical director.

He has created countless scores for plays, films, musical theatre and ballet. His most recent project is an on-going collaboration with Eve Ensler on her latest theatre piece entitled, I Am an Emotional Creature. The production played Johannesburg and Paris in 2011. 

Lingenfelder’s short film Train (2011) celebrating the power of song can be seen and heard here



"To denounce Williams for self-parody and recycling is no longer apt.
Already raging against popular and critical pronouncements about the dying of his creative light,
he endured for another 15 years, and the resurgence of those forsaken plays
may be just beginning.
- Alvin Klein, NY Times (2001) 

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