SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2018

Past News Releases 2010-2016

2016 Festival Program Announcement (6-5-16)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2016 shows (PDF)

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Contact: Rory Marcus
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Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival Announces 2016 Season

Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams: Beyond Success

New Perspectives on Defying Conventions Sept 22 – 25, 2016

(Provincetown, MA June 5, 2016) 2016 marks the centenary of the year Eugene O’Neill began writing ground- breaking plays in Provincetown, considered the birthplace of modern American theater. This year, the 11th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater (TW Fest) will offer new approaches to staging O’Neill from the perspective of Tennessee Williams’ genre-busting dramas.

Both playwrights thrived in Provincetown’s atmosphere of artistic freedom. O’Neill is recognized as the first American playwright to break through the conventions of form and language of the American theater of his time, winning the acclaim of Broadway audiences and critics. Twenty-five years later Williams broke through the conventions of his own time.

TW Fest Board President Patrick Falco said, “We invite all to our beautiful town for the full festival experience -- to put their toes in the sand, watch the sunset over the harbor and be excited to discover the O’Neill and Williams they don’t know. We’ll present some of their most experimental, counter-cultural plays performed by contemporary theater artists who are themselves breaking conventions.”

David Kaplan, curator of the TW Fest, announced the new season line-up: “Both O’Neill and Williams at the height of their success – while winning Pulitzer Prizes and scoring Broadway hits – went beyond success to experiment with burlesque and cartooning, sentimental songs, Asian ideas of theater, and attacks on money- grubbing aspects of American culture. Their unconventional work seems to be speaking to us today especially in this election year.”

“Our program will fascinate audiences with unexpected interpretations of these great American dramatists. As their words echo from play to play and into our heads and hearts, we can all delight in a greater understanding of these masterful playwrights.”

Some of the season’s shows include a production of O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms coming from South Africa with a diverse cast; the dynamic and athletic The Hairy Ape from Philadelphia; Marco Millions with a cast of musician/actors; as well as Williams’ A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot performed with puppets and live actors and In the Bar of A Tokyo Hotel, an avant-garde production from New York, directed by Everett Quinton, from The Ridiculous Theater Company.

?The full program includes:

Plays by Eugene O'Neill

Desire Under the Elms

The story of O’Neill’s 1924 tragedy about a stepson’s passion for his stepmother is set in New England. Africa’s Abrahamse and Meyer Productions moves the play’s setting to Cape Town where a Boer farmer brings home a black bride. Afrikaans-inflected English brings new musicality to O’Neill’s spare dialog of repression and release. Directed by Fred Abahamse, the cast features Robin Smith, Mbali Bloom, and Marcel Meyer with original music by composer Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

Festival audience favorites Abrahamse and Meyer Productions have brought their award-winning interpretations of Williams’ plays to past Festivals, including The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and Kingdom of Earth.

 

The Hairy Ape

A debutante visits the underbelly of her luxury ocean-liner to observe the soot-covered workers as if they were animals. The revelation of his low social status tragically upends the self-perception of the coal stoker boss. O’Neill’s daring 1922 text vaulted beyond the realism of his earlier plays to forcefully dramatize the human cost and terror of the rapidly mechanizing twentieth-century.

Defiant and stirring, the athletic, critically acclaimed 2015 production from Philadelphia’s EgoPo Classic Theatre is directed by Brenna Geffers.

 

Marco Millions

A burlesque retelling of the life of Marco Polo casts the 14th century Italian adventurer as an avatar of a Roaring 20’s tycoon. O’Neill’s take-down of an American value system, in which making a profit trumps all else, stings ninety years after it was written.

The Here and Now production is performed by a band of musician/actors and directed by Talya Klein. Klein is a graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program. She is the founder of The Here & Now in Vermont, which produces one-off, site-specific theatrical events there, and now here for TW Fest’s Marco Millions.

 

Tango Christie (“Anna Christie” Reimagined)

O’Neill’s groundbreaking 1920 play, Anna Christie, reveals a woman whose life is a performance: daughter, lover, whore. In this production, three actors from Central Russia and a virtuoso Russian pianist reimagine the story through dance, song, Russian dolls, and dialogue.

Tango Christie is adapted from Anna Christie as well as directed by Alla Korovkina. It will be performed in Russian by Dr. Chekhov’s Theater Ensemble with over-sized titles projected in English. Original music and songs are by pianist/composer Vasily Tonkovidov. The choreographer is Victoria Maximova.

 

MOVIE NIGHT: ANNA CHRISTIE – The 1923 Silent Film

The 1923 silent movie of O’Neill’s hit play about a hooker who reinvents herself, stars Blanche Sweet and William Russell as the sailor she falls for. This was the first adaptation of a play by Eugene O’Neill. The film will be shown outdoors at night on the beach of the Provincetown Bay, with live piano accompaniment

 

Plays by Tennessee Williams

 

In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel

A happy hedonist wife has come to the end of her patience with her husband, a forever-experimenting artist. The late 1960s resounds throughout Tokyo Hotel in masterful staccato rhythms, which serve as breaks in the lilt of Williams’ earlier dialog, like a hesitation waltz.

The legendary Everett Quinton, of New York’s seminal Ridiculous Theatrical Company, directs Regina Bartkoff and Charlie Schick’s 2012 East Village cult production of the play.

Last year’s Festival audiences will recognize the themes of Williams’ The Day On Which A Man Dies which he wrote a decade later, inspired by what he’d learned about Noh Theater from Yukio Mishima.

 

Small Craft Warnings

In this play Williams sets up camp on O’Neill’s turf: a bar at the edge of the world, shrouded in ocean fog, in which a collection of misfits huddle like birds evading a storm. Unlike O’Neill’s eternally damned pipe- dreamers, Williams’ crass menagerie of barflies -- an itinerant beautician, her loutish boyfriend, a lovesick short-order cook, the girl he’s love with, and an alcoholic doctor -- survive on hope and the possibility of heaven.

This production is directed by Patrick Falco, featuring Gail Phaneuf and Joe Macdougall.

 

Kirche Küche Kinder (An Outrage for the Stage)

In this dark comedy, an Irish hustler, married to a Lutheran preacher’s daughter, brings up his nubile children to sell in the priciest neighborhoods of Manhattan. The title is Williams’ twist on the German admonition that women devote themselves to children (kinder) kitchen (küche), and church (kirche).

The Festival offers the first professional production of this raucous song-filled comedy since 1979, the year Williams wrote it. It will be workshopped by our Tennessee Williams Institute partner, Texas Tech University of Lubbock, Texas. Directed by Robertson Dean, featuring Rachel Hirshorn as The Wife. Thomas Keith, who worked with Eve Adamson, the original director of the play, will serve as dramaturg.

 

Double Bill: Williams and O’Neill

Williams’ A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot with O’Neill’s Welded, Act 2, scene 2

These paired plays explore the two playwrights’ understanding of a good-time girl. Williams introduces us to two ageless goodtime girls out for a good time in a desolate East Saint Louis juke joint. O’Neill’s understanding of a good-time girl was quite different – a scene from Welded stands alone as a moving portrait of unexpected redemption when a footsore young streetwalker teaches an errant young husband how to get through life.

Directed by Fred Abrahamse for the Festival and performed with puppets and panache by South Africa’s Marcel Meyer and St. Louis raconteur Ben Watts.

 

The Full Festival Experience – Discovery, Fun, Learning

Jef Hall-Flavin, TW Fest Executive Director added, “Provincetown is rated as one of the best small towns in America and as part of the total experience of this Festival, we make sure folks get out and about to the most interesting places, to mingle and laugh with actors, to have a cocktail watching an astounding sunset over the water, to be moved by music and inspired by art.”

For Saloon Songs, the artists of the Festival will sing to live accompaniment in saloons around town. Expect stirring, sentimental, sexist and sometimes silly songs -- including barroom standards “Danny Boy” and “Whiskey Johnny” – which were written in stage directions by O’Neill and Williams. These were sometimes placed satirically or meant to carry emotions that cannot be spoken onstage. John Thomas is the director and accompanist. Also expect a visit to our saloons by Stage Moms -- Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams mothers -- written by Larry Dean Harris featuring Paula Fins and Mil Nicholson.

“We have a lot of fun, but we also explore the deeper, more profound aspects of the drama of these master playwrights,” Hall-Flavin continued.

“Through our very popular Tennessee Williams Institute (TWI), graduate and undergraduate level students witness our performances and delve into them in seminars and workshops with renown scholars and theater creatives. These theater professionals of tomorrow will never look at Williams the same way again. They will understand that the full breadth of his work went beyond his classics and that he was always pushing the boundaries of theater with experimental work.”

This year, O’Neill biographer and scholar, Robert M. Dowling will be joining returning Williams’ scholars Thomas Keith and Annette Saddik at TWI.

Dowling, serves on the editorial board of The Eugene O’Neill Review and the Eugene O’Neill Society board of directors. His biography, Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts (2014), has earned accolades for cultivating new insights into the life the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning American dramatist and was a finalist for the prestigious LA Times Book Prize. He is Assistant Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University.

TWI is also honored to be hosting special guest Lee Breuer, founding co-artistic director of New York’s Mabou Mines. Breuer is a writer, director, poet, and playwright engaged in a lifelong procession of experimental theater projects including the smash hit interpretation of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Comedie Francaise in Paris in 2011.

Hall-Flavin continued, “This year we’re very excited to begin a new program for high school students: : A half-day immersion with a production and artist interaction.”

 

A Spotlight on Art

David Kaplan added, “And as Provincetown is the oldest continuous art colony in America, the Festival celebrates the importance of art to the playwrights then and to our audiences today with our Festival Spotlight on Art.”

This year the Fest spotlights the illustrations of Miguel Covarrubias, born in Mexico City in 1904, who created a body of work that broke through conventions of subject and style throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Covarrubias’ artwork and caricatures of influential politicians and artists were featured on the covers of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. A personal friend of Eugene O’Neill’s, with whom he visited Harlem during its 1920s Renaissance, Covarrubias was introduced to New York bohemian society by Carl Van Vechten, the author, critic, and portrait photographer. A decade later Van Vechten would photograph Tennessee Williams and his circle of friends.

Other artists whose work will be exhibited during the Festival are: Julianne Papetsas who has been commissioned to commemorate the Festival’s events with woodcuts that memorialize the original Eugene O’Neill productions; Bill Evaul, whose white-line woodcuts represented Tennessee Williams and his plays during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and who this year creates a woodcut of Eugene O’Neill; and photographer Ride Hamilton who has documented the backstage life of Festival performances from Mississippi to Manhattan since 2012.

 

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

 

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of Modern American Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence today. The Fest has offered 11 premieres of Williams’ plays, many of which have travelled to other cities. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more details visit www.twptown.org. See us on Facebook.

Mass Humanities

 

 

This Festival is funded in part by Mass Humanities.

 

 

Provincetown Tourism Fund

 

 

 

Funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund.

Bold Plays On Set of Best Small Town in America (7-15-16)

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For Release:  Contact:  RoryMarcusPR@aol.com  508/776-1241

 

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival Experience:

See Bold Plays of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill

On the set of ‘the Best Small Town in America.’

September 22 – 25, 2016

(Provincetown, MA July 15, 2016) At the four-day Festival, Beyond Success:  Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill,  the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Festival) offers a delightful theater and travel experience to discover Provincetown, rated one of ‘the best small towns in America’ for its beauty and culture.*  

Both America’s great playwrights, Eugene O’Neill in the 1920’s and Tennessee Williams in the 1940s, composed some of their best-loved masterpieces by the sand dunes and waters of Provincetown.  Today it continues to offer the charm of an old fishing village, the vitality of artistic freedom, and lodging and restaurants to fulfill the simplest to most sophisticated tastes.  

TW Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin said, “We make sure our festival-goers have unforgettable memories of their visit here.  They experience great drama, mingle and laugh with actors, have a cocktail watching an astounding sunset over the water, and are moved by music and inspired by art, all during the most exquisite fall season at the lower prices.”   

In addition to a range of discount ticket deals, the TW Festival’s restaurant and lodging partners also offer generous discounts for visitors. **

David Kaplan, curator of the TW Festival added, “Both Williams and O'Neill shared a passion for bold experiments after they had achieved fame, Audiences will be surprised to discover some of these dramatists’ most counter-cultural and satirical plays. We present acclaimed shows from around the country and around the world.   This year we welcome companies from Russia and South Africa.” ***

Some of the unusual places where the plays will be set are:    

-Napi’s Restaurant…in the upstairs bar surrounded by a magnificent collection of Provincetown art (Saloon Songs and Stage Moms)

-On a wharf…in the Wharf House at the newly refurnished Provincetown Marina.  The building is famous for its the iconic photos of Portuguese women that look out to sea from its walls.  (O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape)

-On the beach…overlooking Provincetown Harbor (the silent film of O’Neill’s Anna Christie with live music)

-Velvet Lounge, a private dance club and bar (Williams’ In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel)

-Riley’s T-shirt Shop…among the beach umbrellas and sunglasses. (O’Neill’s Marco Millions and Williams’ Kirche Kuche Kinder, outrageous satires with music.)  

This year, Brian Dennehy, the brilliant award-winnning film and stage actor and interpreter of O’Neill’s complex characters, will offer a Master Class in Acting at the historic Town Hall.

One festival attendee summed it up:  “There's just something bracing about walking out of a play, smelling the coastal air and realizing that there's no town like Provincetown. That it hosts such a rich and inventive festival every September is practically a miracle.”

“We invite everyone to our beautiful town for the full festival experience,” said TW Festival Board President Patrick Falco, “To put their toes in the sand, stroll the lively shops and be excited to discover the O’Neill and Williams they don’t know.”

 

*Travel and Leisure, Forbes, Smithsonian, Coastal Living, and Business Insider among others in recent years.

**See special deals on where to stay and where to dine here: www.twptown.org/visit

  and info on discount passes here: http://www.twptown.org/discount-passes

***See the entire program of shows and parties here www.twptown.org/shows  

Attached are images of Wharf House, Napi’s Restaurant, “The Parade” on the beach at the TW Festival 2015.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of modern American Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The four day TW Fest is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence today. The Fest has offered 11 premieres of Williams’ plays, many of which have travelled to other cities. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more details visit www.twptown.org.   See us on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by Mass Humanities and Provincetown Tourism Fund

The Festival is presented by Sage Inn and Lounge  

 

Brian Dennehy Conducts Master Class (7-21-16)

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For Immediate Release:  Contact RoryMarcusPR@aol.com 508/776-1241

ACCLAIMED ACTOR BRIAN DENNEHY CONDUCTS MASTER CLASS AT

PROVINCETOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS THEATER FESTIVAL

Sunday, September 25, 2016

 Town Hall - 10am – noon

$25 General, $15 Student

 

(Provincetown, MA- July 21, 2016) Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is excited to announce that Brian Dennehy, one of America’s foremost actors, acclaimed for interpreting complex characters on stage and screen, will be sharing his expertise in a Master Acting Class during this year’s festival:  Beyond Success:  Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill.

Festival curator David Kaplan said: “In June, Brian Dennehy was our guest of honor at our annual dinner and he surprised us all when he decided to read a passage written by Eugene O’Neill.  He had us near tears within seconds. Then Dennehy had us open-mouthed in wonder as he explained the craft behind his power. We asked Brian to share this gift with our audiences and students who come to our Tennessee Williams Institute, and we are very glad he agreed.”

Dennehy’s Master Class is a rare opportunity for students and the general public to learn from one of America’s great performers. In this fun, improvisatory session, he will work with actors on monologues and scenes from Eugene O’Neill’s plays.

Brian Dennehy has honed his craft over a lifetime of work as a film, TV and stage actor. He has won two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for six Emmys.  His Tony’s for Best Actor were for his performances as James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night in 2003 and for Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in 1999.

Recognized as one of the preeminent interpreters of Eugene O’Neill’s major characters, Dennehy appeared as Larry in O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh at BAM in 2015, and has also played Hickey in the same play in several productions, notably the acclaimed 1992 production at Dublin’s historic Abbey Theatre. He also starred in O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet, Hughie, and Desire Under the Elms. In 2010 he won the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish American Writers and Artists.

Tickets for the Master Class are $15 students, $25 general public, available at www.twptown.org or 866/799 – 8366. 

Brian Dennehy’s Master Class is part of this year’s Tennessee Williams Institute (TWI), the educational arm of the Festival.  This year, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival and Institute focus on the spirit of daring shared by Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill as they created new forms for theater beyond the formulas with which they achieved their success.

Also participating in TWI will be Robert M. Dowling, the author of last year’s critically acclaimed biography: “Eugene O'Neill:Life in Four Acts.” The Washington Post commends the author for restoring emphasis on the many groundbreaking works O’Neill wrote during the 1920s.   Several of these groundbreaking plays are presented in this Festival.

The Institute will also include a lecture/demo by Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell of the world renowned experimental theater company Mabou Mines, offering a view of the process creating their next project, Glass Guignol: The Brother & Sister Play, adapted from the writings of Tennessee Williams and Mary Shelley, which will premiere in New York in May 2017.

Attached is an image of Brian Dennehy by Mike Piscitelli

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of modern American Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The four day TW Fest is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence today. The Fest has offered 11 premieres of Williams’ plays, many of which have travelled to other cities. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more details visit www.twptown.org.   See us on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by Mass Humanities and Provincetown Tourism Fund

The Festival is presented by Sage Inn and Lounge 

Everett Quinton Directs In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel (8-11-16)

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For Release:  Contact:  RoryMarcusPR@aol.com  508/776-1241

 Legendary avant-garde actor/director Everett Quinton

Directs Tennessee Williams’ In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel

For Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

September 22 – 25, 2016

 (Provincetown, MA, Aug 11, 2016)  Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Festival) Curator David Kaplan said today that he was “always delighted when ongoing relationships with artists who have been part of our Festival evolve into exciting new productions for us. We’re thrilled that three actors are returning this year with a project they’ve suggested for our theme Beyond Success:  Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill in performance from Sept. 22 – 25.”

Everett Quinton, famous for his involvement with Charles Ludlam’s avant-garde Ridiculous Theatrical Company starred in Williams’ Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws at the 2011 Festival and then at LaMama in New York City.   Actors Regina Bartkoff and Charles Schick were also part of this production.   They discovered that they all had a strong affinity for Tennessee Williams’ later plays.

Bartkoff and Schick, who are also artists and married, went on to self-produce and direct Williams’ In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel in 2012 at the intimate 292 Theatre in New York City.  This play about a hedonist wife who has come to the end of her patience with her husband, a forever-experimenting artist, seemed made for these two actors who enjoy working together.

Backstage recognized that the characters’  “…sensuality and aesthetics are at war. The obvious chemistry shared in the roles by Bartkoff and Schick, puts flesh on such symbolic bones."

For their performance at the TW Festival, Bartkoff and Schick invited Quinton to take a fresh look at the play.

“Williams didn’t go stale or vanish after his hits,” Quinton said.  “It’s great that he left a treasure trove of shorter, bolder plays. He had a progressive vein, his mind still playing with language. I love this play.  I’m surprised it wasn’t appreciated when he wrote it.”

Kaplan said, “It wasn’t appreciated because it didn’t fit the categories of the day.  It was moving, bawdy, and unsettling. It also indirectly criticized America for losing its way with the Vietnam War. By presenting this play alongside other Williams’ genre-busting work, the Festival invigorates appreciation for the breadth of his creative accomplishments – beyond just five classic plays.”

Regina Bartkoff believes that “Tennessee Williams was ahead of his time with this play.  I’m amazed at his incredible humor.  I love inhabiting this woman who is so aggressive and very funny.” 

Charles Schick is excited about, “playing the physicality of my character as he’s falling apart. As an artist I also identify with Williams’ very personal feelings about art.”

Quinton has a wide range of directing experience ranging from theater of the absurd to Shakespeare.   After the death of his partner Charles Ludlam in 1987, Quinton became artistic director of the avant-garde Ridiculous Theatrical Company. He acted in and also directed many productions.  He has also directed at Omaha Theatre for Young People and recently directed Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at The Yorick in NY.

Schick and Bartkoff helped found the 292 Theatre/Gallery, an exhibition and performance space at 292 East Third Street.  It has served as a laboratory for expression and experimentation. Citing Williams as a major source of inspiration, it was also the site of their revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play, which was called “an absolutely captivating experience” by Shiela O’Malley of The Shiela Variations

Everett Quinton has recently appeared in The Witch of Edmonton at Red Bull Theater, as Florence Wexler in Devil Boys from Beyond at New World Stages, as Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as Jacob Marley in The McCarter Theatre's A Christmas Carol. Everett is also a member of Cleveland State University's Summer Stages where he appeared as Madam Rosepettle in O Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad. Everett previously appeared at Red Bull Theater in Women Beware Women (2008 Callaway Award, Best Actor). Everett was a member of The Ridiculous Theatrical Company and served as its Artistic Director from 1987-1997. He has appeared in Charles Ludlam's Medea, The Secret Lives of the Sexists, Salammbo, Galas, The Artificial Jungle and the original production of The Mystery of Irma Vep (Obie and Drama Desk Award).

Attached are images of Everett Quinton in “Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws” 2011; Regina Bartkoff and Charles Schick “In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel.”

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of modern American Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The four day TW Fest is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence today. The Fest has offered 11 premieres of Williams’ plays, many of which have travelled to other cities. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more details visit www.twptown.org.   See us on Facebook.

 This Festival is funded in part by Mass Humanities  

And Provincetown Tourism Fund

 The Festival is presented by Sage Inn and Lounge 

 

O'Neill Scholar Robert Dowling Brings Insights to Festival (9-6-16)

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For Release:  Contact:  RoryMarcusPR@aol.com  508/776-1241

 

Eugene O’Neill Scholar Robert M. Dowling Brings Insights to Tennessee Williams Institute at

11th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Beyond Success:  Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill

 Texas Tech University Produces Williams’ Kirche Küche Kinder for the Festival

 The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival has announced that O’Neill expert Robert M. Dowling will be the special guest scholar at the Tennessee Williams Institute (TWI), the educational/performance arm of the Festival which takes place September 22 – 25, 2016. 

Patrick Falco, chairman of the TW Festival board said, “We are honored that Robert Dowling, one of the most highly regarded O’Neill scholars in the world, will be attending performances and sharing his insights about the playwright’s genre-busting dramas of the 1920s with the graduate student scholars at our TWI’s workshops.

Dowling serves on the editorial board of The Eugene O’Neill Review and the Eugene O’Neill Society board of directors. His highly praised biography, Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts (2014), has earned accolades for cultivating new insights into the life the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning American dramatist and was a finalist for the prestigious LA Times Book Prize. He is Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University.

Dowling commented, “This is an exciting opportunity for me.  It will be an unusually comprehensive and interactive teaching experience, working with the students along with seeing the performances of these daring plays of both O’Neill and Williams.   The rigor and depth of discussion about these two great playwrights who were pushing American drama as far as they could artistically will be fascinating.”

Attached is an image of Robert M. Dowling

The Experiential Learning Programs of the Tennessee Williams Festival

“This program was an eye-opening experience that will influence the way I look at Williams

for the rest of my life.”  -Rebecca Wright, former TWI Texas Tech student

Now in its fifth year, TWI is an immersive University-level symposium for graduate and doctorate level students offered in conjunction with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Students attend a wide array of performances from across the globe, participate in private seminars with scholars, and interact with theater professionals.  Dowling will be joining well-known participating Williams’ scholars Thomas Keith and Tom Mitchell of University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana this year.

TWI was initially developed by Thomas Keith, a Williams’ editor and scholar who is the Literary Director for the Festival and Charlene Donaghy, TW Festival Producing Director, playwright and educator, in collaboration with Mark Charney, Chair of Texas Tech University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. 

Charney welcomes the opportunity to engage his graduate students in the experiential leaning experience that TWI offers.  He says, “He says, “For gaining a deep understanding, you can’t do better than to meet with esteemed scholars, see productions along with reading them, and meet the creative artists involved in the performances.  My students find the program enlightening and enriching.  They are so integrated into this process that bridges the gap between scholarship and production in theater.   It has been opening up new ideas, inspirations and opportunities.”     

A new opportunity has opened up this year for Mark Charney to wear two hats:  as an educator bringing nine students to the program, and as a producer of a Williams play with a company of ten from Texas Tech. TW Festival Curator David Kaplan invited Charney to work with professional Los Angeles actor/director Robertson Dean and his Texas Tech faculty and students to bring Kirch Küche Kinder to audiences for the first time since 1979.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this outrageous Williams satire to the Fest, said Charney. “I believe it will be quite a stunning production.  It’s a significant play full of dark humor that will surprise people in good ways.”

 Kaplan continued, “The Tennessee Williams Institute is meant to educate future generations of critics and dramaturgs in reconsideration of Williams work. We give a platform – literally – for theater artists to reconfigure new artistic approaches to staging Williams’ texts. More, the social relationships developed at the Festival -- and the shared experience of seeing a week of Festival performances -- braids the two understandings – artistic and scholarly -- together.”

Kaplan spoke of the connection between the Festival and the Institute.  "Each year eye-opening performances at our Festival celebrate Tennessee Williams as a creative force who continuously experimented, rather than rest on the achievement of his famous classics such as The Glass Menagerie.  In many ways he was ahead of his time and was dismissed for it.  Our performances offer exciting and pioneering approaches to his work that turn plays thought impossible to understand into theatrical excitement that audiences embrace. Our aim is to transform the way our great American playwright is perceived – by audiences and scholars alike.”

The TW Festival is a catalyst for the reexamination of Williams’ work around the globe. It has premiered 12 new plays by Tennessee Williams since 2006 and sent many productions with their roots in Provincetown to other cities and countries.

New Educational Programs this Year:  The Tennessee Williams Experience for undergrad students,

a Field Trip for High School Students, and a Master Class in Acting by Brian Dennehy.

This year the Festival is launching the Tennessee Williams Experience (TWE)—a weekend theater intensive for undergraduates, which takes place over the course of three nights and two full days. Students will have the opportunity to see six shows, and attend a 2-hour lecture, interact with Festival artists and, this year, attend Brian Dennehy’s master class.

Williams’ scholar Annette Saddik, well-known expert on his late work, will lead this weekend program from Friday evening through Sunday evening.

TW Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin says, “Our educational programs are an important part of claiming Williams from a lifeless ‘poet under glass’ to a living, breathing experimental playwright for today. This year we’re also reaching out to high school students with a Field Trip, a half-day program for groups of ten to see a play and interact with theater professionals.”  Information about all study programs can be found at http://twptown.org/study

In addition to his role with TWI, Dowling will also speak at a popular seminar open to the public,  called Williams 101. In this lively 75-minute lecture, Dowling and Hall-Flavin will put Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill in context for this year’s Festival-goers. More information can be found at http://twptown.org/williams-101-2016      

About the Tennessee Williams Institute Scholars:

Thomas Keith is the Literary Director for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and the dramaturg for this year’s Kirche Küche Kinder.  As Consulting Editor for New Directions Publishing, he has edited 18 titles by Tennessee Williams since 2002, including four collections of previously unpublished or uncollected one-acts, most recently Now the Cats With Jeweled Claws & Other One-Act Plays. With Peggy L. Fox he is co-editing The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin (W.W. Norton, 2017). Creative Producer for the Off-Broadway revival of Williams’ The Mutilated, he has served as dramaturg for The Mabou Mines and Sundance Institute Theater Lab, an advisor to the Tennessee Williams Theater Company of New Orleans, reader for the Yale Drama Prize, judge for the American College Theater Festival, and has taught theater and acting at Atlantic Theater Acting School, Lee Strasberg Institute, Ohio University—currently at Pace University.

 Tom Mitchell is Associate Head of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mitchell 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 travelled the nation to review 56 productions by schools from Maine to Hawaii. He has directed six of Tennessee Williams’s 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. Tom also directed two lost plays by the 20th century Spanish playwright, Jose Lopez Rubio, and the premiere of James Still’s play Meet Me Incognito. He is former chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Directing Symposium and received the 2007 Award of Honor by the Illinois Theatre Association. With colleague Burnet Hobgood, Mitchell authored A Framework for Directing in the Theatre and has made numerous presentations on the practice of directing in the contemporary theatre.

Annette J. Saddik is Professor of English and Theatre at New York City College of Technology and the CUNY Graduate Center Doctoral Program in Theatre. Her area of specialization is twentieth- and twenty-first-century drama and performance, particularly the work of Tennessee Williams. She is the author of Contemporary American Drama (2007), a history of the postmodern performance of American identity on the stage since World War Two, and The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams' Later Plays (1999), and has edited and introduced a collection of Williams' previously unpublished later plays, The Traveling Companion and Other Plays (2008), Tennessee Williams and the Theater of Excess: The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer (2015) She serves on the editorial boards of the journals Theatre Topics and the Tennessee Williams Annual Review.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of modern American Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The four day TW Fest is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence today. The Fest has offered 11 premieres of Williams’ plays, many of which have travelled to other cities. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2016. For more details visit www.twptown.org.   See us on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by Mass Humanities and Provincetown Tourism Fund                                                                              

The Festival is presented by Sage Inn and Lounge 

 

Fest Lauded by Independent Reviewers of New England (9-10-15)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2015 shows (PDF)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7246

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival  

Lauded by Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE)

 

(Provincetown, MA, Sept 10, 2015) Patrick Falco, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, said, “We’re very proud that IRNE has awarded us this special Certificate of Merit to honor our achievements on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary of celebrating the far-reaching creative force of America’s great playwright.”

 IRNE’s Robert Israel, an independent critic whose work appears in Arts Fuse said “The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is being lauded for their decade-long commitment to presenting quality stage productions.  Each year, theater troupes travel to Provincetown from around the world to showcase universal themes found in the enduring works of Tennessee Williams, and to present original works inspired by Williams’s writings. With derring-do, passion, and strokes of bold imagination, the Festival captures the hearts, minds and spirits of theatergoers.”

Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE), founded by Beverly Creasey and Larry Stark in 1997, is a collective of theater critics who recognize outstanding regional performers and theater companies at an awards ceremony held in Boston each spring.

 Israel added: “The Festival’s ambitious and audacious scheduling of events, readings, music, film, dance and stage productions demonstrate their commitment to blazing new artistic trails. IRNE recognizes their achievements as they embark on their second decade.”

 The TW Festival, YEAR TENN:  A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown takes place this year from Sept. 24 – 27, 2015 in the seaside village where Williams spent several summers working on his classic plays.   In performances on the stage, by the bay, and on the beach, visitors will discover plays by America’s great playwright that span his lifetime – from his early years as an unknown to the last year of his life.  For tickets and more info on shows and events: www.twptown.org

 For info about IRNE: risrael_97@yahoo.com, http://www.irneawards.com/#!about-us/cjg9

 

From the Stage to the Bay to the Beach on Williams Creative Journey (8-24-15)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2015 shows (PDF)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7246

 

From the Stage to the Bay to the Beach

The 10th Anniversary of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

Presents

A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown

Tennessee Williams Creative Journey

September 24 – 27, 2015

…all true work of an artist must be personal…

I set out to tell the truth. And sometimes the truth is shocking.

                                                         -Tennessee Williams

(Provincetown, MA- Aug 24, 2015) For YEAR TENN:  A Decade of Tennessee Williams In Provincetown, the TW Fest explores the creative life of America’s great playwright as revealed in a selection of plays that range from his days as a young unknown to the year he died. Ten productions – including a Tennessee Williams world premiere – will be performed by theater artists from around the world: on the stage, overlooking the bay, and on the beach in Provincetown’s cultural seaside mecca where Williams spent several summers living, loving and working during the 1940s.

Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin said, “This year’s shows will take audiences on a journey around town from the stage to the bay to the beach. They will also take us on Williams’ creative journey, giving us a broad context to understand his daring, experimental writing, and a fascinating glimpse into the man himself.”

Williams was a prolific writer throughout his 72 years, and his work broke new ground with his frank embrace of sexuality, soaring language, and inventive stagecraft, winning him many awards and the high praise of critics. But his more experimental work was either dismissed or ignored.  

Since its founding in 2006, the Festival has taken a fresh look at Williams’ wide body of work through 58 plays and ten world premieres, stimulating conversations between audiences, artists and scholars to revive Williams’ reputation as a writer ahead of his time.  

Festival Curator David Kaplan said, “For the past decade, it’s been very exciting for us to see how artists and audiences discover Williams’ late and experimental work to be as enriching as his greatest hits. This year’s program of our landmark productions mixed with new work shows us once again how Tennessee Williams sought to redefine American theater with new forms and poetic language that cuts to the truth of human existence, love, and death.”

The Year TENN lineup combines drama, dance, music and environmental theater in ways that express Williams’ own love story, his ideas of truth and mortality, his outrageous black humor, and his love of song.  Included are:

Tennessee Williams’ Love Story

The Parade  

As a young man of 29, before he had critical success, Williams visited Provincetown in the summer of 1940 and fell deeply in love with Kip, a young dancer.  But his love was not returned.  The dancer married a woman and died not long afterward.  This true-to-life Williams story became The Parade.  

The action in the play is set overlooking the dunes and the beach, and it will be performed on the sand, with stunning views of the dunes and salt marshes at The Provincetown Inn.  Hall-Flavin added, “Water was very important to Williams.  He swam as often as he could throughout his life.  As part of the whole Festival experience for the audience, we’ll be taking them on a 5 minute scenic trip through the dunes before arriving at a little beach near the breakwater to see this show.”

This play was given its world premiere at the TW Festival in 2006.  This production is by the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble, directed by Jef Hall-Flavin, starring Ben Berry, who created the role of Don in the original production.

Road to Paradise – Dance Theater

Williams was affected by the loss of Kip throughout his life and wrote about it in poems, letters and memoirs.

In 2006, Dancer/Choreographer Carson Efird at Bennington College was inspired by Williams writing about his passion and heartbreak to create a dance theater piece incorporating Williams’ words, the music is provided by songs that were important to him. This year Efird is reimagining the piece with new Bennington students, three male and three female, who collaborate to add their own feelings.  Efird said, “We have gone deeper.  Like the rhythm of the water, we’ve found a rhythm to Williams’ transformation from passion to a spiritual place of letting go.”

Road to Paradise will be performed on the deck of the Boatslip Resort, overlooking the bay.

                                                                           Williams on Truth and Mortality

Suddenly Last Summer

Williams’ personal family story about his imperious mother and painfully shy sister is well-known from The Glass Menagerie.  In Suddenly Last Summer, a dramatic thriller written and produced more than a decade later as both play and film, Sebastian’s mother Mrs. Venable (Brenda Currin) wants to have her niece Catharine (Beth Bartley) lobotomized for her outspoken sexual ‘fantasies.’  The story is fueled by Williams’ regret over his sister’s lobotomy combined with an awareness of the dangers of telling the truth.

Starring Festival favorites Brenda Currin and Beth Bartley, this production comes from the Tennessee Williams Tribute in Columbus, Mississippi, directed by Augustin J. Correro.

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore   

Williams wrote this play when his partner of 14 years was dying.  It is a daring, poetic and theatrical reflection on mortality captured brilliantly by South Africa’s award-winning Abrahamse & Meyer Productions, which was brought to Festival audiences in 2013.  It stars Jennifer Steyn who went on to win a Best Actress award for her riveting performance as Flora Goforth, a character as rich as Blanche Dubois and Maggie the Cat.

The Day On Which A Man Dies

Williams wrote this visually stunning play about a romantic artist pursuing his vision beyond public acceptance.  With some of his most lyrical writing, It was inspired by Jackson Pollock as well as Japanese traditions, Noh and Gutai. It has been called “…profound, intense, and very intimate, with a stunning revelation.”  Directed by David Kaplan, this play had its premiere at the Fest in 2009, and this year will star Jennifer Steyn and Marcel Meyer. 

A Surreal Vision of the World

The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde

Not long before he died in 1983, Williams had written “The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde.”  It was very dark humor, in the tradition of Grand Guignol, intended to horrify.  About a cripple who was abused and tortured, it was thought impossible to produce at the time and it was to be printed in a limited edition for his friends. 

The TW Fest presented the world premiere of this play in 2009.  Boston’s Beau Jest Moving Theatre’s production captured the hilarity of the work. Bill Marx of TheArtsFuse said it was “...a powerful rendition of Williams’ grotesque vision of life as a Darwinian slaughterhouse with a surprising amount of tenderness, even lyrical finesse.”

Beau Jest won an IRNE award from the Independent Reviewers of New England.  The original cast directed by Davis Robinson returns with this play and also brings its talents to the TW Fest’s 11th Williams World Premiere - “Aimez-Vous Ionesco.”

Williams Inspires Today’s Artists

Every year the Fest presents original works by contemporary artists that have been inspired by Williams.

More Stars Than There Are In Heaven – Staged Reading

John Guare, the world-renowned author of Six Degrees of Separation and the House of Blue Leaves, has written a new laugh out-loud-play, “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven,that will be presented as a staged reading.

The play is an adaptation Williams’ short story, "The Mattress by the Tomato Patch,"  exposing a time in young Williams’ life when he was toiling for MGM and learning about life from his Marxist landlady.

The staged reading will star Randy Harrison (“Queer as Folk”), Lusia Strus (“50 First Dates”), and Drena De Niro (“Wag the Dog”).

Produced by Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company in association with Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  Directed by Cosmin Chivu who directed a well-received production of The Mutilated  with Mink Stole and Penny Arcade for the 2013 Festival. The popular singing/acting star of musicals in Mexico, Armando Arrocha will perform songs that highlight Williams’ dramatic use of Mexican music in his plays.

Canciónes de Tennessee Williams

The popular singing/acting star of musicals in Mexico, Armando Arrocha will perform songs that highlight Williams’ dramatic use of Mexican music in his plays.

In Canciónes Williams’ words are spoken in English before, during, and after songs sung in Spanish.  Conceived and directed by TW Festival Curator David Kaplan, the show combines some of the most beautiful words Williams wrote and the powerful Mexican music that was often an element in several of his plays.

“Broken-hearted in Provincetown after falling during the summer of 1940, Williams left for Mexico that August. In Acapulco, the music he heard, often on the street, connected to him in a deep way, beyond words. For decades he included such music in his stage directions,” Kaplan explained

Canciónes de Tennessee Williams is produced by Priscilla Alba and is sponsored by the Crown and Anchor of Provincetown.

The Liberation of Colette Simple – Musical Theater

London’s Spatfeather Productions brings us an original and provocative musical based on Williams play “The Case of the Crushed Petunias” which the Festival presented in a vacant storefront in 2009.

The Spatfeather collaborators have fused the poetry of the text with the parochial small town spirit through the musicality of cabaret and the physicality of vaudeville in a heady mix of songs, dance, and acting.  Directed by Matt Peover, eight writers with different points of view have reinterpreted Williams’ distinctive style into songs boldly scored by Vincent Guibert, and featuring new cabaret sensation Nathalie Carrington and actor Adam Byron.

Attached are images from The Parade, Suddenly Last Summer and The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. YEAR TENN, the 10th anniversary Festival will take audiences from the stage to bay to the beach presenting a wide range of Williams’ creative journey from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

What they say about the Festival:

  • A luminous festival – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • …brought a powerhouse of actors…fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage…to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives. ...  As much as you may think you know about Williams’ life and work, you will rediscover Williams with these fresh inventive productions. - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps  Provincetown Banner  
  • The Festival has continually presented thrilling theatrical experiences utilizing non-traditional theater spaces year after year…Steve Desroches, Provincetown Magazine
  • Thanks in substantial part to the annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival…a spate of unseen or seldom-seen plays have pushed their way into view, giving us a fuller sense of his entire body of work and suggesting the need for a reappraisal of a writer we thought we knew." -Don Aucoin, Boston Globe
  • Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished! - Chris Busa, Art Talk, WOMR

The Festiival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

Armando Arrocha Sings Canciones de Tennessee Williams (8-23-15)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest)

Announces a New Show for Year TENN:

Armando Arrocha from Mexico Sings

Canciónes de Tennessee Williams

September 24 – 27, 2015

(Provincetown, MA- August 23, 2015)  The popular singing/acting star of musicals in Mexico, Armando Arrocha will perform songs that highlight Williams’ dramatic use of Mexican music in his plays. 

Arrocha had his first professional theater debut on stage in “Les Misèrables.” Afterwards, he participated in the Mexican edition of other Broadway shows such as “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “MAMMA MIA!.” He has been on stage with great actors such as Jesús Ochoa, Susana Zabaleta and Marisol del Olmo.

Arrocha says he brings his soul to the stage to “win people’s hearts with my voice, ignite the passion on the scene. Music, singing, acting, are conductors that set alight the spirit and give meaning to one’s existence.”

In Canciónes, Williams’ words are spoken in English before, during, and after songs sung in Spanish.  Conceived and directed by TW Festival Curator David Kaplan, the show combines some of the most beautiful words Williams wrote and the powerful Mexican music that was often an element in several of his plays.

Kaplan explained the significance of the Mexican songs heard in Williams plays: “Canciónes shows off the men in Williams’ plays for whom passion is thwarted, submerged, and ultimately released by music. Jubilant or mournful, the Mexican music in Williams’ plays reveal the emotion, often unsaid, of an onstage scene. “

Canciónes highlights include insinuating rancheros, romantic ballads, Cuban-inspired boleros, romantic ballads from Camino Real, the “Rumba Rumbero” from A Streetcar Named Desire and a mariachi song in English written for Anthony Quinn for The Red Devil Battery Sign.

“Broken-hearted in Provincetown after falling during the summer of 1940, Williams left for Mexico that August. In Acapulco, the music he heard, often on the street, connected to him in a deep way, beyond words. For decades he included such music in his stage directions,” Kaplan explained “Often in plays by Williams, the English-speaking audience’s understanding of what Williams says is reinforced powerfully by the audience’s emotional response to these songs, echoing Williams’ inspiration , beyond words.”

Canciónes de Tennessee Williams replaces another Festival production that was previously announced, Tennessee Williams: Words and Music.  Broadway star Alison Fraser was scheduled to reprise her performance in Words and Music, but her upcoming role in the premiere of First Daughter Suite at the Public Theater in New York conflicts with this year’s Festival. Canciónes de Tennessee Williams is produced by Priscilla Alba and is sponsored by the Crown and Anchor of Provincetown.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and cutting-edge productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take audiences from the stage to the bay to the beach presenting a wide range of Williams’ creative journey from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

John Guare Brings New Play to Fest (8-20-15)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest)

John Guare’s New Play

More Stars Than There Are in Heaven

Starring Randy Harrison, Lusia Strus and Drena De Niro

Debuts with Staged Reading

At YEAR TENN:  A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown

September 24 – 27, 2015

Produced by Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company in association

with Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

(Provincetown, MA – Aug 20, 2015)  TW Fest Curator David Kaplan said, “This year, we are thrilled to have one of today’s great American playwright with us -- John Guare.   Guare, the world-renowned author of Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves, is bringing a staged reading of his new laugh out-loud-play, More Stars Than There Are in Heaven, to our 10th Anniversary festival.”

The play is an adaptation of Williams’ short story, "The Mattress by the Tomato Patch."  The story and the play expose a time in young Williams’ life when he was toiling for MGM and learning about life from his Marxist landlady.

The staged reading stars Randy Harrison, Lusia Strus, and Drena De Niro. The case is rounded out with David Elyha, Natalie Tenenbaum, and Joseph W. Rodriguez.

Randy Harrison became well-known as the young gay teen in the groundbreaking TV series, “Queer as Folk,” and has since been appearing in regional theaters in starring roles in many plays including Equus and Amadeus.

Lucia Strus, noted for her eclectic character portrayals on stage and film, has been seen in the films “Restless,”  “Miss Congeniality 2,” and is unforgettable for her hilarious portrayal of Adam Sandler’s assistant in “50 First Dates.”

Director and actress Drena De Niro won the Best Directorial Debut for a Documentary Award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival in 2001, and has been acting in films and TV including “Hands of Stone,” On the Run,” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

“We’re very proud to have this rare chance to share in this developing work from one of the world's best-known playwrights,” Kaplan continued.   “John is a great admirer of Tennessee Williams, He was with us at the beginning, speaking at our 2nd Annual Festival. He said, "Williams has had a tremendous influence, not only on me, but on all of the American theatre.  He taught me never to write a flat line. Never. To make it a moral obligation to risk lines, to put emotion in them, to make them sing.”

The staged reading is produced by Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company in association with Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  Directed by Cosmin Chivu who directed a well-received production of The Mutilated with Mink Stole and Penny Arcade for the 2013 Festival, as well as a moving version of Something Cloudy, Something Clear, performed on a Provincetown beach in 2011.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take audiences from the stage to the bay to the beach presenting a wide range of Williams’ creative journey from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

 

Festival Brings International Productions to P'town (7-28-15)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2015 shows (PDF)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Tennessee Williams Festival Brings International Productions to Provincetown

10TH Anniversary Brings Back Award-winning Drama from South Africa

and New Music Theater  from London

September 24 – 27, 2015

(Provincetown, MA July 28, 2015) Every September the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest) draws theater-lovers from around the globe to celebrate the life, work, and enduring relevance of America’s great playwright in performances of his classics, his daring experimental works, and new works Williams has inspired.   Since its founding in 2006, the TW Festival has presented 58 plays by Williams, including ten world premieres.

Through some of its landmark productions and inspired new works, YEAR TENN: A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown, the TW Fest puts the spotlight on Williams’ creative force in plays that span his life from his early to his later years.

From South Africa:

Abrahamse & Meyer Productions from South Africa returns with its highly acclaimed The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.  Abrahamse & Meyer thrilled Festival audiences with Williams’ Milk Train in 2013 and Kingdom of Earth in 2012.  Under the direction of Fred Abrahamse, both productions went on to win awards and accolades for acting, costumes and music in South Africa.    

“This year we want to give a wider audience a chance to see this outstanding production of the seldom seen The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore with the original cast of Jennifer Steyn, Marcel Meyer and Nicholas Dallas, directed by Fred Abrahamse,” said TW Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin.   

Jennifer Steyn won the prestigious Fleur du Cap Best Actress award in South Africa with her luminous portrayal of Flora “Sissy” Goforth in Williams’ intimate and witty play about mortality.  Her achievement was summed up by Broadway World:  “a magnificent performance by Jennifer Steyn, who plays the central role of Flora 'Sissy' Goforth, a character that - taken on its own terms - ranks right up there with Blanche du Bois and Maggie the Cat.

This year the Festival is also presenting Williams’ genre-shattering play The Day on Which A Man Dies in a repertory collaboration with the Abrahamse Meyer actors.  The play will be directed by TW Festival Curator David Kaplan, recreating his critically acclaimed original staging for the world premiere that he brought to the Festival in 2009.  Kaplan’s scenic design toured Europe and America as part of the 11th Prague Quadrennial.

“This is Tennessee Williams’ fantasia on the death of the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, whom Williams had met in Provincetown in 1940,” said Kaplan. “In this play, which like Milk Train has been influenced by Japanese theater, paintings are created and destroyed onstage. It’s a dream to be working with the Abrahamse & Meyer ensemble who have such a deep affinity for Williams’ language and theatricality.”   Marcel Meyer added “Milk Train” and The Day on Which a Man Dies is Williams at his most daring, theatrical and poetic.” 

To help explore the Japanese influence on Tennessee Williams, Atsuro Hirota, translator of the recent Tokyo production of Orpheus Descending, will be coming from Japan to participate in TW Fest’s Tennessee Williams Institute.  The TWI provides graduate level theater students with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in performances and seminars with Williams’ scholars.  

From London:

In the Festival’s tradition of bringing original works of modern theater artists who have been inspired by Williams, the Fest welcomes the Spatfeather Theatre, a new company from London which aims to provoke and delight by subverting traditional expectations of music theater.   

Spatfeather has adapted Williams’ play The Case of the Crushed Petunias, which had been performed in a storefront at TW Fest 2009, about a young shopgirl who finds the courage to live free.  SpatFeather’s Colette Simple transports Petunias to a musical theater here and now. 

The Spatfeather collaborators have fused the poetry of the text with the parochial small town spirit through the musicality of cabaret and physicality of vaudeville in a heady mix of songs, dance, and acting.  Directed by Matt Peover, eight writers with different points of view have reinterpreted Williams’ distinctive style into songs boldly scored by Vincent Guibert, a 21st Century Kurt Weill and featuring new cabaret sensation Nathalie Carrington and actor Adam Byron.

The libretto is the teamwork of playwrights Robert Holman and Amy Rosenthal, lyricist Adam Meggido, cabaret king Desmond O’Connor, actress Honeysuckle Weeks, and rapper Charlie Dupré. 

Creative Producer and performer Carrington said, “We wanted to touch a line between faithful and irreverent interpretation of Tennessee’s work,” which they did with “charming and disarming quirkiness” according to Time Out London, and they created   “A plucky experiment in theatrical form, witty edge, and energy” said London’s The Guardian.

Attached are labelled photos from The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, The Day on Which A Man Dies, and The Liberation of Colette Simple.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

What they say about the Festival:

  • A luminous festival – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • …brought a powerhouse of actors…fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage…to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives. ...  As much as you may think you know about Williams’ life and work, you will rediscover Williams with these fresh inventive productions. - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps  Provincetown Banner  
  • The Festival has continually presented thrilling theatrical experiences utilizing non-traditional theater spaces year after year…Steve Desroches, Provincetown Magazine

,

  • Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished! - Chris Busa, Art Talk, WOMR
  • (Peter) Smith, of the Tennessee Williams Center, credits Kaplan and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for helping bring much of the playwright’s work into the light. Since 2006 the festival has held world premieres of nine previously unproduced plays by Williams, along with one US premiere. - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

 

Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon Join TENN @ Town Hall Celebration (5-30-15)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2015 shows (PDF)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7246

Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon Return To

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival (TW Fest)

For TENN @ TOWN HALL

September 24 – 27, 2015

In YEAR TENN: A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown, the TW Fest celebrates its 10th Anniversary in grand style by bringing back popular Festival actors to take part in a special reading of excerpts from the 11 Tennessee Williams’ premieres presented over the last decade.

“This event brings the power and beauty of Williams’ words front and center,” says Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin who has adapted the excerpts to flow in this ensemble presentation. “The words Tennessee Williams wrote have the power to transform. Heard together in one evening, ten years of transformations unfold, resonating from play to play.”

Festival Curator David Kaplan added, “We are paying homage not just to the plays that have premiered here, but also to a decade of hard work, belief, passion, and love for this Festival.”

Film and stage actors Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon starred as Big Daddy and Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at TW Fest 2013. 

Joining them from past productions are Festival stars Irene Glezos, Beth Bartley and Brenda Currin (Orpheus Descending 2010-11; In the Summer House, 2013-14), with Lou Liberatore (Something Cloudy, Something Clear 2011), Jeremy Lawrence (The Traveling Companion 2007 & 2011, among many other productions 2006-13), and local Provincetown actors Jody O'Neil, Ben Berry, Adam Berry, Darlene van Alstyne, Ian Leahy, plus a special appearance by Miss Coney Island 2011, Lefty Lucy.

Among the plays at TENN @ Town Hall are this year’s curious Aimez-Vous Ionesco?, the sultry Green Eyes, the down and dirty Madame LeMonde, the heart-warming Parade, the bawdy Dog Enchanted by the Divine View, the mini-tragedy of The Enemy: Time, the road-tripping Once in a Lifetime, the heroic Sunburst, the revolutionary Pronoun “I”, the stylish Curtains for the Gentleman, and the myth-bending American Gothic.

Threaded throughout are plays inspired by Williams’ writing that have also been presented at past Festivals. Excerpts include Wendy Kesselman’s The Shell Collection, along with Gift of an Orange by Charlene A. Donaghy and Rancho Pancho by Greg Barrios.

The celebration at Town Hall also features live music by George Maurer on piano and Ukumbwa Sauti on percussion.  Composer Maurer adapted Williams’ poetry into Autumn Song at TW Fest 2011.

Attached is a photo of Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon, and Tennessee Williams YEAR TENN

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. YEAR TENN, the 10th anniversary Festival will take audiences from the stage to bay to the beach presenting a wide range of the Fest’s landmark productions and works inspired by Williams from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

 

 

2015 Announcement YEAR TENN (5-30-15)

Download a one-sheet summary of the 2015 shows (PDF)

Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

The 2015 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Year TENN:  A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown

September 24 – 27, 2015

(Provincetown, May 30, 2015) Announcing the program for Year TENN, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest), Co-founder and Curator David Kaplan said,

“This year’s festival celebrates what happened to Tennessee Williams in Provincetown during the last ten years: his plays got performed here. We’ve rethought his classics, and rethought the plays he wrote that had been ignored or dismissed. The mantra that Williams had lost his mojo was replaced with cheers at the world premieres in P’town of The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde (TW Fest 2009) and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (TW Fest 2013). So we’re bringing those two productions back for our audiences to cheer in 2015, along with eight other hits and variations.”

In Year TENN, the TW Fest brings back the original casts of some of its greatest hits, revisits landmark productions performed in new ways and introduces new works.  New works include a world premiere of a short late play by Williams and a reading of a new play by John Guare, the author of Six Degrees of Separation, which is based on a Williams short story.

Since 2006, the TW Fest has presented American and international productions of Williams’ classics, little known works by Williams and his avant-garde experiments, along with new works inspired by Williams. Over the four-day festival, audiences enjoy an immersive experience of drama, music, dance, and talks with performing artists and scholars in the charming seaside village considered one of the most beautiful small towns in America.

In its first decade, the TW Festival has premiered ten new works by Tennessee Williams, and many Festival productions have travelled across the world – from New Orleans to New Zealand.  “Audiences in major cities and festivals have gotten a fresh look at Tennessee Williams through our productions,” said Jef Hall Flavin, executive producer of the TW Fest.  “We have inspired thousands of people with innovative stagings, humble and elaborate, to think beyond "Streetcar," and to realize that Williams' was always -- and remains -- an experimental writer with the power of a poet.”  

The 2015 Program for Year TENN: A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown includes:

Return of Original Cast Productions

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore - an award-winning production from Meyer Abrahamse Productions of South Africa

The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde - Antic physical comedy from the Beau Jest Moving Theatre of Boston

Tennessee Williams:  Words and Music - Songs from Williams’ plays, featuring Broadway singer and actor Alison Fraser

 

Landmark Productions Revisited

The Parade - the world premiere that began the Festival in 2006, performed in 2015 on the beach

The Day on Which a Man Dies - a powerful play inspired by the death of Jackson Pollock and the work of Yukio Mishima

The Road to Paradise - a dance piece incorporating Williams’ love letters, first seen in 2006

New Productions

Aimez -Vous Ionesco? - a World Premiere of a Tennessee Williams one-act

Suddenly Last Summer - a well-known classic by Tennessee Williams in a new production from Mississippi

The Liberation of Colette Simple - a musical from London, based on the Williams one-act The Case of the Crushed Petunias

More Stars Than There Are In Heaven - a staged reading of a new play by John Guare, based on a short story by Tennessee Williams

Tenn @ Town Hall - an anthology of ten years of world premieres of plays written by Tennessee Williams – and other writers.

More information about the Productions:

Returning Productions

*The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

First shown at the TW Festival in 2013, this brilliant interpretation by Cape Town’s Meyer Abrahamse Productions went on to be nominated for many awards in South Africa.

Sissy Goforth, a legendary diva (and former Ziegfeld showgirl) is dictating her memoirs atop the mountain of her Italian Riviera estate when the Angel of Death drops in to make love to her. This highlight of TW Fest 2013, returns under the direction of Fred Abrahamse.  Jennifer Steyn rules in her best actress award winning role as Sissy; Marcel Meyer soars as the Angel of Death.

…this production of the text makes for an engrossing night at the theatre, all the more so because of a magnificent performance by Jennifer Steyn, who plays the central role of Flora "Sissy" Goforth, a character that - taken on its own terms - ranks right up there with Blanche du Bois and Maggie the Cat.    -Broadway World

 

 

 

*The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde

Belly-laughs and cutting humor lace a tea party between old prep school chums madder than any hatters in Wonderland.  The late play by Williams, set in a London garret was published while he was alive in a limited edition. The TW Fest 2009 world premiere production was celebrated in Boston and returns with the original cast from the Beau Jest Moving Theater, which is celebrating its 31st Anniversary this year under the direction of Davis Robinson.

required viewing for those who love Williams in all of his artistic manifestations, and of interest to theatergoers who relish a first-rate theatrical imagination applied to the mordantly unusual.”                       -Boston’s TheArtFuse

 

*Tennessee Williams: Words & Music

Broadway’s Alison Fraser (Romance/Romance, The Secret Garden) blazes in a jewel box of pop songs from Tennessee Williams’ plays, along with the original dialog.  The Gentleman Callers Jazz Band, some from the 2011 TW Fest lovefest under the baton of piano virtuoso Allison Leyton-Brown, will be tearing down the house.  Compiled and directed by David Kaplan. The critically acclaimed recording was released by Ghostlight Records in 2014.

“…a wonderful homage to a tragic genius. Fraser literally conducts a séance with her voice, reaching out to Williams across the decades. At times it feels as though he's responding …”                                           -The San Francisco Bay Area Reporter

Landmark Productions

*The Parade

This charming short play brought the Festival fame in the first year, when it presented the world premiere if Williams’ life-affirming gay romance that he wrote in Provincetown in 1940. Ben Berry, who created the role of Don in the original 2006 production, is now the same age as the character he recreates in this revival, directed by TW Fest executive director, Jef Hall-Flavin, who co-directed the original with Eric Powell Holm.  The otherworldly beauty of the Provincetown dunes where the play is set plays a major role, and that’s where the 2015 production takes place.  

...The Parade is a document of what [Williams] later called that 'pivotal summer when I took sort of a crash course in growing up,' a chronicle of how he 'had finally come thoroughly out of the closet.'
- Randy Gener, The New York Times

 

*The Day on Which a Man Dies

Paintings are created onstage and destroyed in Williams’  “lost” fantasia on the death of Jackson Pollock, who Williams met in Provincetown in 1940. 

A dream team of the actors from Meyer Abrahamse Productions’ South African actors from The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, will be under the direction of festival curator David Kaplan who directed the world premiere and brought the acclaimed Chicago production to PAAM for TW Fest 2009.

The production's stylized edginess brings … psychic traumas out in garish and explosive moments of excess that lap at the feet of the audience. -The Chicago Tribune

*The Road to Paradise

A dance of sailors, artist models, and a hopeful young writer was our first performance on the first day of our first year, a dance choreographed by Carson Efird prompted by TW’s heart on the sleeve love poetry written in 1940 Provincetown, shadowed by his heart-broken diary entries. Performed in 2006 inside the Cabral Wharf House, this year The Road to Paradise will be danced outside on the deck of the waterfront hotel, the Boatslip Beach Club.

New Productions

*Aimez -Vous Ionesco?

As a lagniappe* to The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde, the World Premiere of Aimez Vous Ionesco presents a yet madder tea party attended by a self-adoring ballet dancer. Williams channels the great surrealist playwright Ionesco, whose love of language delighted and inspired Williams to create his own surreal fun.

* lagniappe /læn?jæp; noun,  an unexpected treat, for example a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen

*Suddenly Last Summer

Truth speaks to power in this 1950’s Tennessee Williams thriller starring Festival favorites Brenda Currin as the imperious Mrs. Venable and Beth Bartley as the reckless Catherine Holly.

The first production from the Columbus, Mississippi Tennessee Williams Tribute to come to Provincetown will be performed where the memorable staged reading with Dana Ivey was performed for TW Fest 2010. 

The play's director, Augustin J Correro, is Co-Artistic Director of the Tennessee Williams Theater Company of New Orleans. He also guides Festival audiences through our popular Williams 101.

 

*The Liberation of Colette Simple

From London, a vaudeville fantasy, with music by Vincent Guibert, relays the tale of a shopgirl who learns to live free.  This is an adaptation of Williams’ The Case of the Crushed Petunias, a delightful short play which was staged by Patrick Falco inside a storefront on Commercial Street for TW Fest 2009.

This London production from Spatfeather Theatre is performed by the original London cast and musicians, including Nathalie Carrington as Colette, and Adam Byron playing, among other roles, a canary. Director Matt Peover’s production, designed by James Cotterill, gives the impression of “ordinary small town-life wrapped in cotton-candy pink.

Charming and disarming quirkiness -TimeOut, London

 

*More Stars Than There are in Heaven – A Staged Reading

John Guare, the author of Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves, has written a new play based on the Tennessee Williams short story” “The Mattress by the Tomato Patch. “ The story and the play are biographical: about Williams’ writing for MGM while learning about life from his Marxist land-lady.

This reading is produced by Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company of New York City. 

Cosmin Chivu, who will be directing this reading, also directed the Festival’s 2013 production of The Mutilated with Mink Stole and Penny Arcade that went on to New York to be nominated for a  2014 Drama League Nomination for Best Revival of a Play.

 “Naturalism is great for television and the small screen. Theatrical reality happens on a much higher plane. People on a stage are enormous, there to drive us crazy. I love actors who can do that.”                  -John Guare in a Paris Review Interview 1992.

 

*Tenn @ Town Hall

Tenn @ Town Hall presents readings from all ten of the Festival’s world premieres of plays written by Williams.  At this historic occasion the stage will echo with words from the sultry Green Eyes, the down and dirty Madame Le Monde, the heart-warming Parade, the bawdy Dog Enchanted by the Divine View, the mini-tragedy of The Enemy: Time, the road-tripping Once in a Lifetime, the heroic Sun Burst, the revolutionary Pronoun I, the stylish Curtains for the Gentleman, and the myth-bending American Gothic.

Threaded throughout will be readings from the TW Fest premieres inspired by Williams' writing. This year’s More Stars Than There are in Heaven by John Guare joins Wendy Kesselman’s The Foggy Foggy Dew and The Shell Collection, along with Gift of an Orange by Charlene A Donaghy, and Rancho Pancho by Greg Barrios. Featuring Irene Glezos and Jeremy Lawrence, among other TW Fest superstars, with music from George Maurer, composer of Autumn Song, the evening is compiled and directed by Festival executive director Jef Hall-Flavin.

Expanding the Understanding of Tennessee Williams

The TW Fest also furthers the understanding of America’s great playwright through its Tennessee Williams Institute (TWI) and Williams 101 talks

Through TWI, the Festival offers an unmatched range of performance and scholarship all in one place, a unique opportunity for academic study in an artistic context in a graduate-level immersion course for students.  In addition to seeing a wide array of performances from across the globe, TWI students participate in a series of private seminars with Williams scholars that relate directly to the productions being presented. 

In Williams 101, a 60 minute talk offered each day of the Festival, scholar and director Augustin Correro enlightens theater-goers about what Williams wrote and why, from smash hits on Broadway to outrages for the stage that were way ahead of their time. He connects his work to his life and legacy, from his hometown in the Mississippi Delta, to St. Louis, New Orleans, Hollywood, New York and, of course, to Provincetown.  A rotating cast of festival artists and Williams Institute scholars, join Correro to offer their personal views on the work.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

 

 

Tennessee Williams Festival Brings International Productions to Provincetown

10TH Anniversary Brings Back Award-winning Drama from South Africa

and New Music Theater  from London

September 24 – 27, 2015

(Provincetown, MA July 28, 2015) Every September the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest) draws theater-lovers from around the globe to celebrate the life, work, and enduring relevance of America’s great playwright in performances of his classics, his daring experimental works, and new works Williams has inspired.   Since its founding in 2006, the TW Festival has presented 58 plays by Williams, including ten world premieres.

Through some of its landmark productions and inspired new works, YEAR TENN: A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown, the TW Fest puts the spotlight on Williams’ creative force in plays that span his life from his early to his later years.

From South Africa:

Abrahamse & Meyer Productions from South Africa returns with its highly acclaimed The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.  Abrahamse & Meyer thrilled Festival audiences with Williams’ Milk Train in 2013 and Kingdom of Earth in 2012.  Under the direction of Fred Abrahamse, both productions went on to win awards and accolades for acting, costumes and music in South Africa.    

“This year we want to give a wider audience a chance to see this outstanding production of the seldom seen The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore with the original cast of Jennifer Steyn, Marcel Meyer and Nicholas Dallas, directed by Fred Abrahamse,” said TW Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin.   

Jennifer Steyn won the prestigious Fleur du Cap Best Actress award in South Africa with her luminous portrayal of Flora “Sissy” Goforth in Williams’ intimate and witty play about mortality.  Her achievement was summed up by Broadway World:  “a magnificent performance by Jennifer Steyn, who plays the central role of Flora 'Sissy' Goforth, a character that - taken on its own terms - ranks right up there with Blanche du Bois and Maggie the Cat.

This year the Festival is also presenting Williams’ genre-shattering play The Day on Which A Man Dies in a repertory collaboration with the Abrahamse Meyer actors.  The play will be directed by TW Festival Curator David Kaplan, recreating his critically acclaimed original staging for the world premiere that he brought to the Festival in 2009.  Kaplan’s scenic design toured Europe and America as part of the 11th Prague Quadrennial.

“This is Tennessee Williams’ fantasia on the death of the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, whom Williams had met in Provincetown in 1940,” said Kaplan. “In this play, which like Milk Train has been influenced by Japanese theater, paintings are created and destroyed onstage. It’s a dream to be working with the Abrahamse & Meyer ensemble who have such a deep affinity for Williams’ language and theatricality.”   Marcel Meyer added “Milk Train” and The Day on Which a Man Dies is Williams at his most daring, theatrical and poetic.” 

To help explore the Japanese influence on Tennessee Williams, Atsuro Hirota, translator of the recent Tokyo production of Orpheus Descending, will be coming from Japan to participate in TW Fest’s Tennessee Williams Institute.  The TWI provides graduate level theater students with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in performances and seminars with Williams’ scholars.  

From London:

In the Festival’s tradition of bringing original works of modern theater artists who have been inspired by Williams, the Fest welcomes the Spatfeather Theatre, a new company from London which aims to provoke and delight by subverting traditional expectations of music theater.   

Spatfeather has adapted Williams’ play The Case of the Crushed Petunias, which had been performed in a storefront at TW Fest 2009, about a young shopgirl who finds the courage to live free.  SpatFeather’s Colette Simple transports Petunias to a musical theater here and now. 

The Spatfeather collaborators have fused the poetry of the text with the parochial small town spirit through the musicality of cabaret and physicality of vaudeville in a heady mix of songs, dance, and acting.  Directed by Matt Peover, eight writers with different points of view have reinterpreted Williams’ distinctive style into songs boldly scored by Vincent Guibert, a 21st Century Kurt Weill and featuring new cabaret sensation Nathalie Carrington and actor Adam Byron.

The libretto is the teamwork of playwrights Robert Holman and Amy Rosenthal, lyricist Adam Meggido, cabaret king Desmond O’Connor, actress Honeysuckle Weeks, and rapper Charlie Dupré. 

Creative Producer and performer Carrington said, “We wanted to touch a line between faithful and irreverent interpretation of Tennessee’s work,” which they did with “charming and disarming quirkiness” according to Time Out London, and they created   “A plucky experiment in theatrical form, witty edge, and energy” said London’s The Guardian.

Attached are labelled photos from The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, The Day on Which A Man Dies, and The Liberation of Colette Simple.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

What they say about the Festival:

  • A luminous festival – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • …brought a powerhouse of actors…fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage…to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives. ...  As much as you may think you know about Williams’ life and work, you will rediscover Williams with these fresh inventive productions. - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps  Provincetown Banner  
  • The Festival has continually presented thrilling theatrical experiences utilizing non-traditional theater spaces year after year…Steve Desroches, Provincetown Magazine

,

  • Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished! - Chris Busa, Art Talk, WOMR
  • (Peter) Smith, of the Tennessee Williams Center, credits Kaplan and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for helping bring much of the playwright’s work into the light. Since 2006 the festival has held world premieres of nine previously unproduced plays by Williams, along with one US premiere. - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

Tennessee Williams Festival Brings International Productions to Provincetown

10TH Anniversary Brings Back Award-winning Drama from South Africa

and New Music Theater  from London

September 24 – 27, 2015

(Provincetown, MA July 28, 2015) Every September the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (TW Fest) draws theater-lovers from around the globe to celebrate the life, work, and enduring relevance of America’s great playwright in performances of his classics, his daring experimental works, and new works Williams has inspired.   Since its founding in 2006, the TW Festival has presented 58 plays by Williams, including ten world premieres.

Through some of its landmark productions and inspired new works, YEAR TENN: A Decade of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown, the TW Fest puts the spotlight on Williams’ creative force in plays that span his life from his early to his later years.

From South Africa:

Abrahamse & Meyer Productions from South Africa returns with its highly acclaimed The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.  Abrahamse & Meyer thrilled Festival audiences with Williams’ Milk Train in 2013 and Kingdom of Earth in 2012.  Under the direction of Fred Abrahamse, both productions went on to win awards and accolades for acting, costumes and music in South Africa.    

“This year we want to give a wider audience a chance to see this outstanding production of the seldom seen The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore with the original cast of Jennifer Steyn, Marcel Meyer and Nicholas Dallas, directed by Fred Abrahamse,” said TW Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin.   

Jennifer Steyn won the prestigious Fleur du Cap Best Actress award in South Africa with her luminous portrayal of Flora “Sissy” Goforth in Williams’ intimate and witty play about mortality.  Her achievement was summed up by Broadway World:  “a magnificent performance by Jennifer Steyn, who plays the central role of Flora 'Sissy' Goforth, a character that - taken on its own terms - ranks right up there with Blanche du Bois and Maggie the Cat.

This year the Festival is also presenting Williams’ genre-shattering play The Day on Which A Man Dies in a repertory collaboration with the Abrahamse Meyer actors.  The play will be directed by TW Festival Curator David Kaplan, recreating his critically acclaimed original staging for the world premiere that he brought to the Festival in 2009.  Kaplan’s scenic design toured Europe and America as part of the 11th Prague Quadrennial.

“This is Tennessee Williams’ fantasia on the death of the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, whom Williams had met in Provincetown in 1940,” said Kaplan. “In this play, which like Milk Train has been influenced by Japanese theater, paintings are created and destroyed onstage. It’s a dream to be working with the Abrahamse & Meyer ensemble who have such a deep affinity for Williams’ language and theatricality.”   Marcel Meyer added “Milk Train” and The Day on Which a Man Dies is Williams at his most daring, theatrical and poetic.” 

To help explore the Japanese influence on Tennessee Williams, Atsuro Hirota, translator of the recent Tokyo production of Orpheus Descending, will be coming from Japan to participate in TW Fest’s Tennessee Williams Institute.  The TWI provides graduate level theater students with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in performances and seminars with Williams’ scholars.  

From London:

In the Festival’s tradition of bringing original works of modern theater artists who have been inspired by Williams, the Fest welcomes the Spatfeather Theatre, a new company from London which aims to provoke and delight by subverting traditional expectations of music theater.   

Spatfeather has adapted Williams’ play The Case of the Crushed Petunias, which had been performed in a storefront at TW Fest 2009, about a young shopgirl who finds the courage to live free.  SpatFeather’s Colette Simple transports Petunias to a musical theater here and now. 

The Spatfeather collaborators have fused the poetry of the text with the parochial small town spirit through the musicality of cabaret and physicality of vaudeville in a heady mix of songs, dance, and acting.  Directed by Matt Peover, eight writers with different points of view have reinterpreted Williams’ distinctive style into songs boldly scored by Vincent Guibert, a 21st Century Kurt Weill and featuring new cabaret sensation Nathalie Carrington and actor Adam Byron.

The libretto is the teamwork of playwrights Robert Holman and Amy Rosenthal, lyricist Adam Meggido, cabaret king Desmond O’Connor, actress Honeysuckle Weeks, and rapper Charlie Dupré. 

Creative Producer and performer Carrington said, “We wanted to touch a line between faithful and irreverent interpretation of Tennessee’s work,” which they did with “charming and disarming quirkiness” according to Time Out London, and they created   “A plucky experiment in theatrical form, witty edge, and energy” said London’s The Guardian.

Attached are labelled photos from The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, The Day on Which A Man Dies, and The Liberation of Colette Simple.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 10th anniversary Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 24 through Sunday, September 27, 2015. For more visit www.twptown.org  and Facebook

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund  and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

What they say about the Festival:

  • A luminous festival – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • …brought a powerhouse of actors…fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage…to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives. ...  As much as you may think you know about Williams’ life and work, you will rediscover Williams with these fresh inventive productions. - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps  Provincetown Banner  
  • The Festival has continually presented thrilling theatrical experiences utilizing non-traditional theater spaces year after year…Steve Desroches, Provincetown Magazine

,

  • Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished! - Chris Busa, Art Talk, WOMR
  • (Peter) Smith, of the Tennessee Williams Center, credits Kaplan and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for helping bring much of the playwright’s work into the light. Since 2006 the festival has held world premieres of nine previously unproduced plays by Williams, along with one US premiere. - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

 

Brenda Thomas to Star in The Member of the Wedding (9-18-14)

Download this Press Release PDF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 18, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Brenda Thomas to star in
The Member of the Wedding
At the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Jade King Carroll to direct an all-black cast
Single performance at Town Hall on Sept 28, 2014

 

As its finale for Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, the Festival will stage The Member of the Wedding, the classic novel by Williams’ friend Carson McCullers, as a radio play with an all-black cast for one performance at the Provincetown Town Hall.

Veteran actress Brenda Thomas stars in the touching story of Frankie, a young tomboy in a small southern town. Thomas plays the worldly Berenice, the black family housekeeper who offers her special counsel to the unhappy Frankie.

Thomas was last seen in the Hartford TheatreWorks production of The Sty of the Blind Pig, for which she was given a Connecticut Critics Circle Award. She has been performing in regional and off-Broadway theatres throughout the US for over 40 years, including the Guthrie Theater, Yale Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Center Stage in Baltimore, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The Member of the Wedding is produced by the Festival in association with Boston's New Urban Theatre Laboratory (NUTLab), which staged the remarkable Gift of an Orange in the 2012 TW Festival. Jackie Davis, actor and artistic director of NUTLab, will star as Frankie.

Jade King Carroll will direct the production. Carroll's recent credits include Trouble In Mind at Two River Theater, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at Portland Stage, and A Raisin In The Sun at Juilliard. She also worked as Associate Director for A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway with director Emily Mann. Carroll is a TCG New Generations Future Leader Award recipient and received the Paul Green Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Professional from the National Theatre Conference and The Estate of August Wilson.

The play delves into the meanings of black, white, innocence, wisdom, and life as a tomboy. McCullers and Williams were close friends and she wrote this adaptation of her novel in the summer of 1946 in Nantucket, sitting at the same table where Tennessee Williams was working on his play Summer and Smoke.

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 9th annual Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook.

 

Author John Lahr Talks "Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh" at 2014 Festival (9-12-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 12, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
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Author John Lahr Talk
On Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
At Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Sunday, Sept 28, 2014, 10am

 

As part of Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, this year’s theme at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, theater critic and author John Lahr will delve into Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, his highly acclaimed new biography of America’s great playwright, in conversation with Thomas Keith, creative consultant of the Fest and editor of over sixteen volumes by Tennessee Williams for New Directions Publishing.

In his exhaustively researched book, Lahr has dug deeply into the drama of the writer’s own life, his creative process and sweet and sour relationships with his family, directors including Elia Kazan, movie stars including Marlon Brando, writers, hangers-on, and more of those who made up his circle of friends.

This year’s 9th Tennessee Williams Theater Festival features humor, love, disappointment and healing that springs from friendships.

The theme of friendship is developed In performances in plays and dance from around the country and from South Africa.  The four-day celebration of Williams’ creative force includes plays that Williams wrote in which friendship plays a pivotal role, including , Period of Adjustment from WHAT, and plays written by some well-known friends who were themselves major creative forces  --  Yukio Mishima, Jane Bowles, William Inge, and Carson McCullers’ The Member of the Wedding, staged as a radio play with an all black cast from New Urban Theatre of Boston and directed by Jade King Carroll.

About John Lahr

Lahr is the author of seventeen previous books on the theater and two novels, among other publications. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, where for two decades he was the magazine’s senior drama critic. He has twice won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and twice been included in volumes of The Best American Essays. His stage adaptations have been performed around the world; he is the first critic ever to win a Tony Award, for co-authoring Elaine Stritch at Liberty.

Among Lahr’s other books are Notes On a Cowardly Lion: the Biography of Bert Lahr, Dame Edna Everage: Backstage with Barry Humphries (Roger Machell Prize), and Prick Up Your Ears: the Biography of Joe Orton which was made into a film.

Some advance praise for Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh:

“Could this be the best theater book I’ve ever read? It just might be. Tennessee Williams had two great pieces of luck: Elia Kazan to direct his work and now John Lahr to make thrilling sense of his life.” John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation

“Brilliant and seamless. A labor of the profoundest love, and it comes from the heart and mind of one of our greatest theater writers.”André Bishop, artistic director of Lincoln Center Repertory Theater

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 9th annual Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook.

 

TWPtown Presents New Dances Inspired by Tennessee Williams (9-2-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 2, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
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508.694.726

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival Presents
New Dances Inspired by Tennessee Williams
I Wish You'd Keep Still
At the Paramount at Crown & Anchor - September 26 — 28, 2014

 

Every year, artists from across the country and the globe converge at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival to perform plays by Tennessee Williams and new work by contemporary artists that he has inspired.

This year, as part of Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, the Festival welcomes back accomplished choreographer and performer Carson Efird who has been inspired to create dances based on two of Williams’ one-act plays.

For the Festival’s first season, in 2006, Efird created the dance-theater piece, The Road to Paradise, based on Williams' Provincetown letters, poems, and diaries. Since then she has continued to develop a collaborative process that interprets theatrical texts as narratives in movement. Working with dancers and original music, Efird brings stories to life through new shapes and sounds.

Efird’s new work I Wish You’d Keep Still is a pair of dances inspired by Williams’ Why Do You Smoke So Much, Lily? and Something Unspoken. Efird says, “In each play, Williams gives us potent words to embody as we allow the unspoken subtext of the play to reveal itself.”

Both plays are about female relationships in which desire is silenced through sound - a nagging mother, records, societal chatter, a telephone ringing; and in both dances movement breaks through the sound inviting the desire of the body to be heard. 

The dances are choreographed and performed by Carson Efird, Katherine Ferrier and Courtney Greer with original sound scores by Joe Westerlund, produced by the Efird Westerlund company of Los Angeles. The piece will also feature a group of local Provincetown women.

The performance will take place at the Paramount at The Crown & Anchor, a popular nightclub in the heart of Provincetown well-known for its cabaret and theatre performances throughout the year.

The Crown & Anchor is a waterfront entertainment complex of bars, an inn, and the Central House restaurant, developed over the years since the original Central Hotel was built in 1836. According to David Kaplan, Curator of the Festival and author of Tennessee Williams in Provincetown, Williams stayed in the ‘Presidential Suite’ at the hotel with his mother in 1962 when it was the Crown & Anchor Motor Inn.

Jef Hall-Flavin, Executive Director of the Festival says, “We’re thrilled that The Crown & Anchor is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival and that they are also offering a special Central House Dinner & Show option to our patrons. When buying tickets, patrons can choose this option for an average of 20% off a great dinner.”


About Efird Westerlund

Carson Efird (Performer and Choreographer) is a dancing yogini from South Carolina. She recently received her MFA from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance where she developed a movement process that extracts and abstracts action from theatrical texts into non-verbal narratives. Her delightful dance The Road to Paradise, based on Williams' Provincetown letters, poems, and diaries, was the first performance in the Festival's first season in 2005. Since graduating from Bennington College her work has been presented in dance festivals and theaters across the country. 

Joe Westerlund (Composer) is a percussionist, composer, improviser and vocalist who records and tours internationally with Megafaun, Califone and Gayngs, among others. He has collaborated with a wide array of artists including minimalist composer Arnold Dreyblatt, On Fillmore (feat. Wilco's Glenn Kotche) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). His work can be heard on the record labels Table of the Elements, Northern Spy, among others. He is a co-founder of Sounds of the South, a project that reinterprets selections from the Alan Lomax box set of the same name. Westerlund holds a BA in Music from Bennington College.
 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 9th annual Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook.
 

What they say about the Festival:

  • "A luminous festival" – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • "...brought a powerhouse of actors… fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage… to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives." - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps, Provincetown Banner
  • "Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished!" - Chris Busa, WOMR Art Talk
  • "[Peter] Smith, of the Tennessee Williams Center, credits Kaplan and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for helping bring much of the playwright’s work into the light. Since 2006 the festival has held world premieres of nine previously unproduced plays by Williams, along with one US premiere." - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe


The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

Performances Offered in Special Provincetown Spaces (8-20-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 20, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Discover Provincetown at the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Performances Offered in Special Provincetown Spaces
Download Free Guide to Follow in Tennessee Williams' Footsteps
September 25 — 28, 2014

 

The 9th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Tennessee Williams' Circle of Friends, presents plays by Williams and his friends that feature the humor, love, disappointment and the healing that springs from friendships.

Every year, performances from artists from across the county and around the world take place in distinctive Provincetown spaces where audiences can experience the special flavors that the beautiful, historic seaside town offers. Here are just a few to enjoy this year:

In the Summer House by Williams’ good friend Jane Bowles is a drama filled with mystery and humor that Williams loved and championed. It will be presented at the Boatslip Resort, a very popular waterside hotel and dance club. The actors will be performing outdoors, on the stairs of the resort, around and in the pool and in the Bay.

In choosing this unique setting, the Festival Curator and the play’s director David Kaplan says, "In this play, Jane Bowles has the idea that to understand clearly, emotionally, you need to back up and look at a distance. The length of the Boatslip pool, the drama of its three-story staircase, the sweeping views of the Bay from the deck, make for excellent scenery and proven audience eye candy."

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, a play by Williams in which women friends try to help each navigate the rocky road between romance and reality, will be performed in a 1920s Sears home in the heart of Provincetown. The audience will share the great room with the actors, who will also use the actual bedroom, bathroom, hallway and stairs as part of the set. 

“This is a very intimate, environmental theater experience,” says director Jef Hall-Flavin, who is the Festival’s Executive Director. “The audience will be as close to the action as they can be, hearing the sounds and mouth-watering smells of real chicken frying. Taking the play off a stage and into a real living room allows the audience to invest in a real, emotional connection to the characters.”

History lovers will get a chance to admire Town Hall, recently renovated to its 1886 glory, the venue for Vieux Carré which is coming from KNOW Theatre in Binghamton, N.Y. This Williams play in which he recalls his time living in a boarding house with strange and vulnerable characters has a cast of ten and will be presented in the round.

KNOW Artistic Director Tim Gleason says, ‘This play reflects on the importance of friendships, no matter how fleeting.” Gleason also acts in the play and adds, “Playing in the round, surrounded by the audience, means there’s no place for us to hide. We’re fully exposed. As actors we feed off the energy an audience gives us. We’re ready for anything.”


Free Guide To “Follow in Tennessee Williams’ Footsteps”

 

 

To further explore Provincetown and to learn about Tennessee Williams, the Festival is offering the public a free guide to some of the places Williams lived and hung out with his friends. To download the free guide, Follow In Tennessee Williams Footsteps, go to www.twptown.org.

The TWP Festival celebrates the life and work of America’s great playwright Tennessee Williams in the creative and liberal seaside town where he spent several summers during the 1940s. Spanning the years he went from a struggling unknown to an acclaimed Broadway playwright, Provincetown was very significant in his life. Here he fell in love, worked hard and played hard, developing several of his masterpieces, including The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.
 

 

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

 

 

 

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 9th annual Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook.

What they say about the Festival:

  • "A luminous festival" – Robert Israel, EDGE
  • "...brought a powerhouse of actors… fresh visions and new insights to classics and recently unearthed gems of 20th century plays…The festival turned practically all of Provincetown into a stage… to deepen the understanding of Williams and wonder at his enduring relevance to our lives." - Lynda Sturner and Rob Phelps, Provincetown Banner
  • "Check it out, blow your mind, be astonished!" - Chris Busa, WOMR Art Talk
  • "[Peter] Smith, of the Tennessee Williams Center, credits Kaplan and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for helping bring much of the playwright’s work into the light. Since 2006 the festival has held world premieres of nine previously unproduced plays by Williams, along with one US premiere." - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe


The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

TWPtown Expands Reach of Tennessee Williams Across Country (8-4-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 4, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Expands Reach of Tennessee Williams Across the Country
Advises St. Louis, MO on new Williams Festival

 

When casting director Carrie Houk thought of producing a Tennessee Williams play in St. Louis, MO, she looked to David Kaplan, the curator and Jef Hall-Flavin the executive director of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for advice.

She had been ‘wowed’ by The Hotel Plays at the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. These four Williams one-act plays were directed by Kaplan and Hall-Flavin and had originally been presented at the Provincetown festival in prior years.

As a result, Houk will be opening Williams’ Stairs to the Roof this November, in association with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, which will be providing artistic and administrative guidance to Houk. Stairs fits the profile of Provincetown’s specialty – rarely produced Williams plays – in this case, an early play that takes place in St. Louis where Williams lived for many years.

Breaking New Ground:

Stairs
will open in a long dormant theater once run by the St. Louis Artists Guild and now restored as the Boo Cat Club.  At curator David Kaplan’s urging, it will be directed by the award-winning South African team that has been featured in Provincetown for three years, Abrahamse Meyer Productions. Fred Abrahamse will direct, and Marcel Meyer will design the production, which has never been seen in St. Louis.

Kaplan says, "For nine years, theater artists from around the world have been gathering at our festival in Provincetown to expand ideas about Tennessee Williams -- how to stage his plays, what to tihnk of his life's work. Abrahamse Meyer is an ingenious artistic team that has incredible passion for -- and expertise with Williams. Sharing knowledge and passion about Williams between Provincetown, South Africa and St. Louis is a recipe for success."

In July 2014, St. Louis arts and community development leaders met with Jef Hall-Flavin for advice about starting a Williams Festival in their city. Provincetown has been called the 'godfather' of the burgeoning St. Louis Festival, with its successful 9-year history of a performing arts format that has premiered ten Williams plays in the seaside resort of Provincetown.

“This could be the start of something big,” says Jef Hall-Flavin.  “I am heartened by the ever-growing interest in celebrating Williams in places that were central influences on his life and work.” Several cities now host Williams-centered Festivals: Provincetown, MA; Columbus and Clarksdale, MS; and New Orleans, LA. Williams moved to St. Louis when he was eight and lived there through his college years, setting many plays there, including his indelible classic, The Glass Menagerie.

Kaplan added, “We have a vision of Tennessee Williams that includes his well-known masterpieces in a continuum with his experimental work, early and late. The form of "Glass Menagerie" was questioned in its day – barely a play, critics said in 1945.  Stairs to the Roof is also genre-defying and deserves to be better known.”

Ken Kranzberg, chairman of the Grand Center arts organization and founder of the Kranzberg Arts Center, said St. Louis is a natural fit for a Williams festival. Plans are underway for a group of St. Louis arts patrons to visit Provincetown’s Festival and begin planning a St. Louis Festival with the collaboration of Kaplan and Hall-Flavin.

“What pleases me the most, continues Hall-Flavin, is that the organizers of the St. Louis festival share our vision that live performance is the best way to experience our great American playwright.”

Far-reaching Influence:

Curator David Kaplan says, “It is our mission to see Williams fully understood for the creative force that he was, and that goes well beyond his classic masterpieces.  Williams was always writing and experimenting and much of his work was dismissed in his time. Our performances offer exciting and pioneering approaches to his work that turn plays thought impossible to stage or to understand into theatrical excitement that audiences embrace."

Hall-Flavin continued, “Provincetown sits on a spiral of sand, so I like to think of a spiral as a metaphor for our work over the last decade, constantly expanding outward from this incredible artist haven. Over 450 artists have performed here, and we are proud of the many productions we’ve originated that have traveled the world.”


Productions Presented First in Provincetown That Traveled To Other Cities:

TO NEW ORLEANS, LA – Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival:

Auto-da-Fé (2013), a Williams mother-son drama performed on a porch in Provincetown in 2012, then restaged on the back steps of an historic New Orleans home in the French Quarter with a Dixieland band.

The Tennessee Williams Songbook (2013) a concert of songs from TW plays created for the 2012 Festival by David Kaplan, starring Broadway’s Alison Fraser

Gift of An Orange (2014) by Charlene Donaghy, a play inspired by a Williams short story that was an audience favorite of the 2012 Festival

The Hotel Plays (2014), a quartet of one-acts originated in Provincetown that were performed in rooms and hallways of the historic Hermann-Grima House to an awestruck audience
 

TO COLUMBUS, MS – The Tennessee Williams Tribute:

The Dog Enchanted by the Divine View (2009), Williams’ short play that became The Rose Tattoo, which had its 2008 premiere in Provincetown

The Case of the Crushed Petunias (2010), an early one-act play about a shopkeeper who receives a casual visit by a handsome man called death

The Strangest Kind of Romance, (2011), a one-act play about a man with a cat, seen in the 2010 version of The Hotel Plays

The Tennessee Williams Songbook (2012)

Autumn Song (2013), a collaboration with composer George Maurer of Minnesota and Jef Hall-Flavin, a musical dialogue in song and jazz of the poetry of Rilke and Williams created for the Festival.


TO MISSISSIPPI

Orpheus Descending (2012). The stunning, site-specific 2010 production was presented in churches in three cities across Mississippi: Columbus, Oxford and Jackson.


TO NEW YORK, NY
: 

The Mutilated (2013), a late work by Williams that was panned by critics when it was originally produced in 1966, went on to New York, starring Mink Stole and Penny Arcade and was nominated for a Drama League Award under the direction of Cosmin Chivu.  

The Two-Character Play (2012), the 2011 Provincetown production from London inspired New York producers to mount an off-Broadway version of our production with the same director, starring Amanda Plummer, to great reviews.

Orpheus Descending (2012), the runaway hit of the 2010 Festival from The Infinite Theatre was revived for a sold-out one-night benefit performance in a  West Village church.

Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws (2011), an avant-garde work featuring Everett Quinton and Mink Stole that was presented at LaMaMa Etc.


TO CHICAGO, IL:

The Chorus Girl Plays (2014)  A World Premiere, first seen in P’town in 2013, Danzloop Chicago presented these three Williams plays choreographed with dance at the Strawdog Theatre.   

The Escapes (2011) dance adaptations based on Escape and Summer at the Lake which were created for the Festival in 2010 opened at the American Theater Company

Lorita (2009) a dance adaptation based on Williams’ short story Happy August the Tenth premiered at the Provincetown Festival in 2008.


TO SEWANEE, TN
:

The Traveling Companion and The Chalky White Substance (2009), and The Hotel Plays (2011) which played under the title “Hotel Williams” at the Tennessee Williams Center


TO ALBUQUERQUE, NM:
 

Once in a Lifetime (2011) After premiering at the Provincetown Festival, this play was presented by Fusion Theatre in Albuquerque.


TO LOS ANGELES, CA

Green Eyes (2011), this kinky one-act premiered in Provincetown in 2008 directed by Jef Hall-Flavin, and was presented at the Ruskin Theatre Group in Los Angeles


TO MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN

Green Eyes (2011) was also seen at the nation’s largest Fringe Festival in Minnesota.


TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
:
 

Kingdom of Earth (2012), unpopular in 1968, it was presented at the Festival by Abrahamse Meyer Productions, was loved by the critics and audiences and went on to win major nominations and awards in South Africa.  The Provincetown production also inspired the Columbus Tennessee Williams Tribute and the South Camden Theatre Company in New Jersey to put on their own productions of Kingdom of Earth.

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (2013). Abrahamse Meyer Productions went on to be highly acclaimed as one of the best plays of 2013


TO DUBLIN, IRELAND:

The Traveling Companion and The Chalky White Substance (2010), a double-bill of one-acts directed by David Kaplan was presented as “Tennessee Suite” at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.


TO BERLIN, GERMANY
:
 

Autumn Song (2014), this original jazz-inspired song cycle of Williams and Rilke poems first seen in Provincetown in 2012 was invited to Berlin in April 2014 for two private concerts.
 

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s.  The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. The 9th annual Festival will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook


The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

Artist Invites Community to Be Part of Artwork for William Inge Plays (7-23-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 23, 2014
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.726

Artist Invites Community to Be Part of Artwork for William Inge Plays
For Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Meet the Artist at Sage Inn Cocktail Party
August 2, 2014, 4-5pm

 

A cocktail party fundraiser for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival will introduce Topeka, Kansas artist Joseph Keehn II to the community.

Keehn created an art installation as part of the William Inge plays, An Otherwise Hopeless Evening, that played in Kansas City, during the Inge Centennial last year. He will be creating a new installation for the plays at the TWP Festival’s Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, which runs September 25 – 28 this year at the Sage Inn. 

An Otherwise Hopeless Evening is a mash-up of rarely seen short melodramas written by 1950’s playwright William Inge that deal with homosexuality and identity in the mid-West. 

"I’m inviting people to contribute to this artwork around the themes of domesticity, homosexuality and support," Keehn says. He asks that those interested bring articles they consider might offer support in some way, whether financial, like bills, coins or checks, or physical, like support bras, jockstraps or neckties. All contributions, from quarters to sports bras, have the potential to become part of the installation he will create. 

Some guests will also receive signed original drawings and prints by the artist. "I feel a kindred spirit with Inge," Keehn says, "We’re both from conservative Kansas, where the norm for homosexuals in Inge’s day was to keep your identity private and at home. Keehn’s art installation will embody ideas about privacy and identity in Provincetown’s varied communities and in the writings of Inge and Tennessee Williams."

Cocktail Fundraiser Details:
Sage Inn & Lounge
Complimentary Tapas
Cash Bar
Suggested Donation - $25
See more at: www.twptown.org/aoh-cocktail-party

Author Michael Paller Joins the Tennessee Williams Institute (7-8-14)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 8, 2014
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Tennessee Williams Scholar Michael Paller
Joins Tennessee Williams Institute at
9th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival has announced that Michael Paller, author, dramaturg and educator, will be a participating scholar at the Tennessee Williams Institute (TWI) held during this year’s Festival, Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, September 25 – 28, 2014.

Michael Paller is the author of Gentlemen Callers: Tennessee Williams, Homosexuality and Mid-20th Century Drama and Tennessee Williams: The Playwright in Context, as well as several essays on Williams’s work. He is also a dramaturg and Director of Humanities for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and teaches in their MFA acting conservatory.

Paller dramaturged the Russian premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Small Craft Warnings directed by American Richard Corley at the Sovremennik Theater in Moscow. Mr. Corley will also be attending TWI and the two will discuss their work together. Paller will lead a workshop to develop a script inspired by "Mother Yaws," a late short story by Williams. The adaptation is by Randall Rapstine, who was a student at TWI last year. 

About the Tennessee Williams Institute

Now in its third year, TWI is a University-level Symposium for graduate level students offered in conjunction with the four-day Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. In addition to experiencing a wide array of performances from across the globe, TWI students participate in private seminars with scholars who specialize in Tennessee Williams. Paller will be joining well-known Williams scholars Thomas Keith and Annette Saddik at the Institute this year. 

TWI was initially developed by Thomas Keith, a Williams’ editor and scholar who is the Creative Consultant to the Festival and Charlene Donaghy, TW Festival Producing Director, playwright and teacher, in collaboration with Mark Charney, Chair of Texas Tech University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

Charney welcomed the opportunity to engage his students in the experiential leaning experience that the Festival offered. This will be the third year he brings his graduate students to the Festival. He says, “The last two years have been wonderful. The program bridges the gap between scholarship and production in theater. It has been opening up new ideas, inspirations and opportunities.” 

David Kaplan, Curator of the Festival, spoke of the connection between the Festival and the Institute.

"Each year eye-opening performances at our Festival celebrate Tennessee Williams as a creative force, a playwright who continuously experimented, rather than rest on the achievement of his famous classics, such as The Glass Menagerie. In many ways he was ahead of his time and was dismissed for it. We work to reconfigure how Williams is spoken about, thought about, and staged. Our performances offer exciting and pioneering approaches to his work that turn plays thought impossible to stage or to understand into theatrical excitement that audiences embrace." 

Two Williams plays that were dismissed in his lifetime and recently presented at the Festival are The Mutilated, TWP Fest 2013) which went on to New York and was nominated for a Drama League Award, and Kingdom of Earth (TWP Fest 2012 & 2013) from South Africa that went on to win many awards there.

Kaplan continued, “The Tennessee Williams Institute is meant to educate future generations of critics and dramaturgs in reconsideration of Williams work, especially the texts written by Williams that were in advance of the criticism written during his lifetime. We give a platform –literally – for theater artists to reconfigure new artistic approaches to staging Williams texts. More, the social relationships developed at the Festival -- and the shared experience of seeing a week of Festival performances -- braids the two understandings – artistic and scholarly -- together.” 

Charney added, “My students find the program enlightening and enriching. They see groundbreaking productions, gain insights from the best Williams’ scholars in the world, and get to talk with performers after having experienced their shows, adding an even deeper layer of understanding.” 

Charney says that the festival experience has developed into a semester-long class which has led to creative work and potential scholarship, “This year one of our MFA directing candidates, Randall Rapstine, will create a piece based on the short story, "Mother Yaws" and develop it in workshop with the scholars.” 

Jef Hall-Flavin, Executive Director of the Festival says, “TWI is an important part of claiming Williams from a lifeless ‘poet under glass’ to a living, breathing experimental playwright for today. We are proud to have premiered ten new plays by Tennessee Williams over the last eight years, and sent many productions with their roots in Provincetown to other cities and countries. The Festival is a catalyst for the reexamination of Williams’ work around the globe. Through performance, our aim is to transform the way our great American playwright is perceived – by audiences and scholars alike.” 

As one student, Rebecca Wright, put it, ”The seminar was an eye-opening experience that will influence the way I look at Williams for the rest of my life.” 

About the Tennessee Williams Scholars: 

Thomas Keith is the Creative Consultant for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and Coordinator of the Tennessee Williams Institute. Since 2001 he has edited over sixteen volumes by Tennessee Williams for New Directions Publishing, including three collections of previously unpublished one-acts, as well as Williams’ last full-length play, A House Not Meant to Stand, for which he wrote the introduction. Keith has written articles and chapters for American Theatre Magazine, Tenn at One Hundred, The Later Plays of Tennessee Williams, Tennessee Williams Review, Tennessee Williams and Europe, and The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia, among others. Along with Peggy L. Fox he is co- editing The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin for publication by W.W. Norton in 2015. He was the Creative Producer for the Drama League-nominated Off-Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ rarely produced comedy The Mutilated in 2013. Keith He serves as an advisor to the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. 

Annette J. Saddik is Professor of English and Theatre at New York City College of Technology and the CUNY Graduate Center Doctoral Program in Theatre. Her area of specialization is twentieth- and twenty- first-century drama and performance, particularly the work of Tennessee Williams. She is the author of Contemporary American Drama (2007), a history of the postmodern performance of American identity on the stage since World War Two, and The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams' Later Plays (1999), and has edited and introduced a collection of Williams' previously unpublished later plays, The Traveling Companion and Other Plays (2008). Dr. Saddik’s most recent book on Williams, Tennessee Williams and the Theater of Excess: The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer will be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2015, and has forthcoming essays on the work on Sam Shepard and John Patrick Shanley. She serves on the editorial boards of the journals Theatre Topics and the Tennessee Williams Annual Review.

Michael Paller joined the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) as resident dramaturg and director of humanities in August 2005. Since then, he has dramaturged over 50 productions and workshops, and also teaches in A.C.T.’s MFA program in acting. He began his professional career as literary manager at Center Repertory Theatre (Cleveland), then worked as a play reader and script consultant for Manhattan Theatre Club, and has since been a dramaturg for George Street Playhouse, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, and others. He dramaturged the Russian premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Small Craft Warnings at the Sovremennik Theater in Moscow. Last year he adapted Ibsen’s Peer Gynt for concerts by the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. He is the author of Gentlemen Callers: Tennessee Williams, Homosexuality, and Mid-Twentieth-Century Drama (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and Tennessee Williams in an Hour (Smith & Kraus 2010).

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org and Facebook.

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor. 

 

2014 Season Announcement (6-1-14)

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Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends
Thurs, September 25 – Sunday, September 28, 2014

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made
by the friends we choose. –Tennessee Williams


The 9th Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Tennessee Williams’ Circle of Friends, features humor, love, disappointment and healing that springs from friendships.

The theme of friendship is developed In performances in plays and dance from around the country and from South Africa. The four- day celebration of Williams’ creative force includes plays that Williams wrote in which friendship plays a pivotal role, and plays written by some well-known friends who were themselves major creative forces -- Carson McCullers, Yukio Mishima, Jane Bowles, and William Inge

“Williams always folds laughter into his plays, often ironic laughter. In his plays about friendship that our audiences will see this season, Period of Adjustment and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, the laughter is overt and happily life-affirming” says David Kaplan, curator of the Festival.

“Williams orbited within a constellation of writers who were stars,” Kaplan continued. “They shared a view of the world, ideas about the value of art, and secrets. Our audience will also, I hope, share those ideas and secrets while discovering Williams’ affinity to the writings of his friends.”

From the Town Hall to the beachside, performances will take place at various venues in the town where Williams spent several summers writing some of his masterpieces. 

Jef Hall-Flavin, executive director of the Festival says, “We offer our audiences a deeper understanding of Williams, his life, his work, his creative force. We have a special talk with John Lahr, former theater critic for The New Yorker and author of the newest biography on Williams. In Williams 101, directors and actors offer more insight about their work. For graduate level students, our Tennessee Williams Institute offers immersion in performances and seminars with several scholars.”

“We also have several parties and mixers so that our international crowd can get to know each other,” Hall-Flavin says. “We expect many new friends will be made.”
 

 

Plays Written by Tennessee Williams
 

Period of Adjustment

In this comedy that appeared on Broadway in 1960, two Korean War army buddies meet up after the war to spend a holiday together – one on his honeymoon, one in a long contentious marriage. Touching on treatment of veterans, unemployment, and sexual dysfunction, this play will resonate with today’s audiences.

This production comes from Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Wellfleet, MA, directed by New York theater and opera director, Michael Unger
 

A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur

A circle of women friends strive to protect each other from disappointments in love, but not always successfully. Set in the 1930s, this play explores women’s changing roles and their search for identity and belonging.

Though one of Williams’ late plays, he returns to the pleasing lyric cadences of his earlier writing in this 1979 text. This play became the basis for the highly successful TV series The Golden Girls in the 1980s.

From the Gremlin Theater in St. Paul, MN, directed by Jef Hall-Flavin
 

Vieux Carré

A fresh-faced young writer moves into a New Orleans boardinghouse in the French Quarter and is befriended by his lonesome harridan of a landlady and surrounded by eccentric characters desperately seeking connection.

This play is based on Williams’ own experience in 1938, but it took him until 1977to express the riches of this time through his art.

From Binghamton New York’s KNOW Theater, directed by Brandt Reiter, starring New Orleans based Desiree Ledet as the sharp-tongued Mrs. Wire.
 

I Wish You'd Keep Still

Two dances inspired by two Williams’ one act plays: Why Do You Smoke So Much, Lily (1935) and Something Unspoken (1951), choreographed by Carson Efird.

Efird is known for interpreting theatrical texts through non-verbal narratives. In fact her dance, “The Road to Paradise” -- based on Williams’ letters, poems and diaries -- was the first performance of the first season of the TW Festival in 2005. Since then she has appeared in North Carolina Dance Festival, NC, Meredith College, NC, and Goose Route Dance Festival, among other venues. 


Plays by Friends of Tennessee Williams
 

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

McCullers wrote The Member of the Wedding sitting at the same table with Williams in Nantucket during the summer of 1946. He was writing Summer and Smoke. Williams said, "She was the only person I have ever been able to work with in the same room, and we got along beautifully."

In this play, 12 year old tomboy Frankie wants to go along on her brother’s honeymoon, while Berenice, the family’s housekeeper, offers her counsel.

Produced by Boston’s New Urban Theatre Laboratory, which staged the highly acclaimed Gift of An Orange at TW Festival 2012, and went on to the New Orleans Literary Festival in 2013. 
 

In The Summer House by Jane Bowles

In 1940, Williams fled his doomed romance in Provincetown and ran off to Mexico where he met a married couple in Acapulco, Jane and Paul Bowles. Jane was working on a play, “In the Summer House,” about a possessive mother who threatens to send her brooding daughter to business school. Williams helped arrange a grant so Bowles could take time to create a second act. In 1956 he traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see it performed, and gave it consistent praise in interviews and in his Memoirs.

This rarely performed cult classic thrilled Provincetown audiences last year in a remarkable outdoor staging of Act II around the pool at the Boatslip, directed by Festival curator, David Kaplan. It ended with a cliffhanger, literally. Did Mrs. Constable’s daughter slip or did Mrs. Eastman’s daughter push her over the cliff to her death?

This year both acts will answer that question. Both Act ! and !! will be presented in 2014 in and around the waters of the Provincetown Bay. The play stars favorite Festival stars from past years, Irene Glezos, Brenda Currin and Beth Bartley.
 

The Lady Aoi by Yukio Mishima

Williams met Mishima in 1957 on the street without knowing who he was and invited the elegantly dressed handsome Japanese man who spoke English with an aristocratic English accent to stop by for tea and martinis. The next day the writers were formally introduced to each other at the offices of New Directions, which published them both.

A mutual appreciation of the violence and beauty of Japan and the American South lasted until Mishima’s suicide. Mishima, Japan’s most powerful 20th century author, wrote several modern Noh plays that inspired Williams’ “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore,” “In a Bar in a Tokyo Hotel,” and “The Day on Which a Man Dies.”

In Mishima’s play, a ghostly apparition appears in a hospital room and unleashes a jealous fury. The South African performers of Abrahamse-Meyer Productions will be presenting this year’s version as a puppet play. Festival audiences know this team for the brilliant productions that had their U.S. premiere at the Festival in past years -- Kingdom of Earth (2012) and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (2013) -- and went on to garner multiple nominations and Cap du Fleur awards in Cape Town, South Africa. 
 

An Otherwise Hopeless Evening — four plays by William Inge

Tennessee Williams was a St. Louis boy, and it moved him that the theatre critic from St. Louis, William Inge, came up to Chicago to watch The Glass Menagerie in its 1944 pre-Broadway run. Inge, too, was a playwright, and he had much in common with Williams, in particular a sensitivity to unspoken desire in repressed and repressive mid-century America. Williams introduced Inge to his agent and helped launch his career as a famous playwright. Inge never came out as a homosexual.

Four short recently published Inge plays (The Tiny Closet, The Killing, The Boy in the Basement, The Love Death) come to us from their original production at the Jewel Box Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri.

This theatrical mash-up taps the light and dark humor running through four outrageous stories of extraordinary men struggling to be themselves and reveals Inge's struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his conservative Midwestern upbringing.

The plays will be performed by an all-male cast with veteran drag queen De De Deville from Kansas City.

Underscored with abandon on a vintage 1950s organ, this bill offers audiences a fierce dose of farce, thrills, melodrama, and unflinching satire! Recommended for mature audiences, the production contains adult themes, nudity, and some strong language.

From the production company A Hidden Splendor, directed by Travis Chamberlain, with an original art installation by artist Joseph Keehn II that explores the relationship between Inge and Williams. 
 

Coffee with John Lahr: Tennessee Williams & His Friends

John Lahr, the biographer of the long-awaited Williams biography, titled Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, in a talk with Williams editor Thomas Keith, discusses Williams’ sweet and sour friendships with movie stars, other writers, hangers-on, Tallulah Bankhead and people you’ve never heard of who made up Tennessee Williams’ circle of friends.

Lahr’s previous biographies include Prick Up Your Ears, about Joe Orton, and Notes on a Cowardly Lion, about his father Bert Lahr. In 2002, Former drama critic for the New Yorker, Lahr became the first drama critic ever to win a Tony Award for his part in writing actress Elaine Stritch’s one–woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
 

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The TW Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of America’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st Century. It will take place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014. For more visit www.twptown.org

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor. 

 



World Premiere of Williams' Curtains for the Gentleman (9-8-13)

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World Premiere of Tennessee Williams’

Curtains for the Gentleman

In The Chorus Girl Plays

A fusion of drama, dance, music and burlesque

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

September 26 – 29, 2013

 

In the 1930’s, before he became known as ‘Tennessee,’ Tom Williams was a young writer who was very enamored of the movies.  During the Depression, he wrote many short plays about good time girls and tough guys with overtones of film noir which are just now being rediscovered.

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is presenting three of these short plays as The Chorus Girl Plays for this year’s theme of “50% Illusion: Tennessee Williams and Women.”  Curator David Kaplan notes that “Williams watched many Broadway musical comedies where wise-cracking swell-looking dames not only survived, but prevailed. The girls in the chorus, whose figures and wits were a means to survive, became, it would seem, his templates of a lady.”

Robert Chevara, a well-known European opera and theater director who directed Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carré to sold out houses in London last year, is directing The Chorus Girl Plays.  He conceived of setting them in a vaudeville dance hall filled with the upbeat music of the 30s where a burlesque show is about to happen, evoking the era in which Williams was writing.  “I want the audience to be thrilled by this original piece of theater and not to have seen anything like it before,” Chevara says.

“These are very funny plays which also have a disturbing undercurrent that calls to mind the effects of the Depression on that era,” Chevara adds.  We enter that world through the opening act of the chorus line whose dancers then become the actors in the three plays.  “The dancers inhabit the roles of the characters brilliantly,” Chevara adds.

The grand finale in the dance hall is a burlesque show by popular Lefty Lucy, Miss Coney Island USA,  2011,  known for her singular style of slapstick burlesque.  She appears regularly in New York and teaches at the New York School of Burlesque.

The Chorus Line dancers/actors are from DanszLoop Chicago, a dance  Ensemble led by Paula Frasz, which specializes in dance interpretations of plays and has appeared at the Festival in past years.

Williams’ women in these plays are:

In The World Premiere of Curtains for the Gentleman, Flossie, the Gentleman’s flame, unknowingly leads him to a rubout.

In At Liberty, Bessie’s down on her luck, back home in Mississippi

In Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay!, Mae-West-like Millie and her friend Aileen pick up two sailors and bring them home to the Bronx.

For more info on Robert Chevara and DanszLoop Chicago, go to www.twptown/org-the-chorus-girls.

About Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

Founded in 2006 in the birthplace of American Modern Theater where Tennessee Williams worked on many of his major plays, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of American’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate his enduring influence in the 21st Century. The theme of this year’s 8th Annual Festival is 50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women.  It takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013. For more info see www.twptown.org. 

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

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Coffee With Mitch Douglas (8-6-13)

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Coffee With Mitch Douglas, Tennessee Williams’ Agent
Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Sunday, September 2, 2012, 10:30 am 

 

(Provincetown, MA August 6, 2012) Mitch Douglas, Tennessee Williams’ last literary agent at ICM, will join the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in an informal conversation with Festival Curator David Kaplan over Coffee during the four day festival taking place September 20 – 23, 2012.

 

Mitch Douglas, the shy son of a poor Kentucky coal miner, never dreamed he’d be rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities or that he would be representing Tennessee Williams, as well as Arthur Miller, or that he’d work with the musical theater’s Kander and Ebb and with Shelley Winters on her life story through the powerhouse agency of ICM for over 20 years.

 

David Kaplan first interviewed Mitch Douglas in 2006 as preparation for the book “Tennessee Williams in Provincetown.”  “We met, at Mitch’s suggestion, at a show biz watering hole. His stories about Williams were so good, and funny --  and outrageous -- that people from other tables were openly eavesdropping and trying not to laugh. It should be fun to have him tell them in Provincetown with an audience invited to laugh. Better still, Mitch had true insight to Williams’ later writing. He’d been there as the plays were being drafted, rewritten, and reshaped (sometimes for the better, sometimes not) in rehearsals and performances.”

 

Douglas, a lively, Southern storyteller in his own right, revels in talking about the unique experiences he’s had with the famous and infamous during those years.

 

It was Douglas’ disarming charm that compelled others to recognize his talents and open doors for him, but it was his dedication and very hard work that led him to his many accomplishments.

 

Throughout his career, Douglas has represented new and veteran writing talent in the fields of books and plays.  Besides Playwright Tennessee Williams, his clients included novelist and playwright Henry Denker, Graham Greene, Arthur Miller, musical theatre’s Kander and Ebb,  historian/novelist James Alexander Thom, and the Nunsense musicals creator, Dan Goggin. He also handled Eartha Kitt’s memoirs as well as Shelley Winters’ life story.

 

Coffee With Mitch Douglas takes place at the Fine Arts Work Center during the 7th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. This year’s theme of “Tennessee Williams and Music”  presents the pleasures of music in the drama of America’s great playwright.

 

The seaside village of Provincetown will be alive with the sounds of blues, Mariachi, Dixieland, American Pop, Art Song and African drums.  Theater artists from around the globe will converge on this art colony where Williams worked over several summers in the 1940s, performing his classic “The Glass Menagerie,” his little known works such as “Kingdom of Earth” from South Africa, and new works that he has inspired, such as “Autumn Song,” a dramatic meeting of poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Tennessee Williams in conversation through their poetry and jazz.     

 

“Coffee with Mitch Douglas” is only open to holders of the VIP Carte Blanche all access pass, Students of the TW Institute and Sustaining Donors.  Tickets and passes for productions at the Festival are on sale online at www.twptown.org or by phone at 866/789-TENN (8366). 

 

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Mink Stole and Penny Arcade Star in The Mutilated (8-5-13)

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Tennessee Williams’ The Mutilated

Starring Mink Stole and Penny Arcade

At Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women

September 26 – 29, 2013

 

(Provincetown, MA – Aug 5, 2013)  "It may be disappointing to some, but despite the title there is no gore in The Mutilated," says David Kaplan, curator of the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  "Instead we have broad humor, cryptic Christmas Carols, and touching characters seeking redemption in all the wrong places. Altogether a really good time at the theater.”

 The play originally premiered in New York in 1966 as part of a two-play bill called A Slapstick Tragedy. “Yet even with this black comedy,” Kaplan continued, “Williams, as was his great strength, is able to create two very real, tenderly drawn women that we care about.” 

 The play stars avant-garde actors Mink Stole (‘Trinket’) as a reclusive society woman living in a cheap hotel, hiding a painful secret and Penny Arcade (‘Celeste’) as a vagrant prostitute.   Once the best of friends,  they are now locked in a bitter struggle to survive as Celeste threatens to reveal the secret Trinket entrusted to her unless she’s paid big bucks.  

Mink Stole, a singer and a cult film legend who has appeared in every John Waters’ movie, says of Trinket, “This is a role I have been prepping for practically my entire life.”

Penny Arcade, a popular New York performance artist who as a runaway teen became part of the notorious New York underground gay and Andy Warhol art scenes says, “Tennessee Williams wrote for people like me and people like you.  And this is the first time that people who actually lived the kind of lives he wrote about (in this play) are going to be playing these roles.”

The story takes place in The French Quarter of New Orleans on Christmas Eve in the 1940s where a chorus of misfits and freaks sing carols about life on the fringes of society.  The original music for Williams’ lyrics is composed by Jesse Selengut and performed live on stage with his New Orleans swing style band TIn Pan.

As much of “The Mutilated” is set in a hotel, the play will take place in a hotel in Provincetown . Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin says, “Our site-specific production creates an intimate once in a lifetime event. The audience will gather outside The Gifford House as if in front of the SRO hotel of the play, then dive down to Club Purgatory to spy on Mink Stole's bedroom. Nearly 50 years after Williams wrote the play, we’re thrilled to present it to our savvy Festival audience who will appreciate his dark humor and compassion.”

The play’s director, Cosmin Chivu, has had an international career of award-winning productions.  He directed Something Cloudy Something Clear at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for the Williams’ centennial in 2011.  Chivu is  the founder of InterArt Theatre Group and is currently the Head of B.A. Acting/Directing Program at Pace University Performing Arts in New York City.

The Mutilated’s creative producer Thomas Keith, who is also an advisor to the Festival and Consulting Editor for New Directions Publishing, responsible for editing the Tennessee Williams titles, says “Our mission is to bring this rarely seen, outrageous and tender black c,omedy, an unknown treasure by Tennessee Williams, back to life on the stage!”   

After playing at the Festival, this Beth Bartley Production of The Mutilated will open in New York at The New Ohio Theatre on November 1, 2013.

For more information about this production, see www.twptown.org.

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

Founded in 2006 in the town where Tennessee Williams worked on many of his major plays, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of American’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate his enduring influence in the 21st Century. The theme of this year’s 8th Annual Festival is 50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women.  It takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013. For more info see www.twptown.org. 

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

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Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon Star in 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' (7-24-13)

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Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon

Star as ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Big Mama’ in

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

September 26 – 29, 2013

The 8th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

 

I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live? -Big Daddy 

(Provincetown, MA – July 24, 2013) Real life husband and wife Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon play the classic couple ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Big Mama’ in Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize Winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at this year’s TW Festival, 50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women, in an upcoming production from the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT).

Since starring in the classic 1968 film “2001:  A Space Odyssey”,  Dullea has starred in both films and plays.  He’s especially excited to play ‘Big Daddy’ in this production because he played ‘Brick,’ Big Daddy’s son, in the 1974 Broadway production with Elizabeth Ashley and Fred Gwynne.  “Gwynne was magnificent as Big Daddy,” Dullea says.  “He inspired me to want to play that role.  His voice rings in my ears today.  I’ll be reaching deep to find that voice within myself.”

Mia Dillon won a Tony nomination for her role as ‘Babe’ in the original 1981 Broadway play Crimes of the Heart.  She has had a very strong presence in the theater world, starring in such shows as Our Town with Paul Newman, Da, and Agnes of God among others. 

Dillon sees ‘Big Mama’ as deeply in love with her husband and riding an emotional roller coaster from elation as she believes he is cured of cancer, to despair as she discovers he’s dying.  Dillon appreciates that the genius of Williams’ poetic writing gives her the chance as an actor “to explore deep emotions in the safe place of the stage.”

Dullea and Dillon have been married 15 years and have enjoyed performing together often. Soon after they met while reading Selected Shorts for NPR, they played together in Noel Coward’s Private Lives.   Right after they were married, they toured in Death Trap, in which Keir’s character killed Mia’s off every night.   Most recently they both appear in the film “Isn’t it Delicious.”

Director Elizabeth Falk has also cast newcomers Madeleine Lambert as ‘Maggie’ and Steven De Marco as ‘Brick.’    Like Williams, Falk was born in the South, and she is especially sensitive to the musicality of his writing.  “Even punctuation is important to capturing the music.  It must be honored to get the sound Williams wanted to hear.”     

Falk has directed 64 productions of drama, musical theatre and opera at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Off-Broadway, as well as in many overseas countries.  She was the first woman to ever direct at Shakespeare’s Globe London.

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of American’s great playwright.  Festival Curator David Kaplan says, “The plays in this year’s program reveal how Williams’ changed his depictions of women as women’s roles changed in society.  In Cat on a Hot Roof, Williams reverses the sexual roles he assigned in A Streetcar Named Desire.  Brick takes on Blanche Dubois’s drinking problem and her haunting by a dead pretty boy.  Maggie’s as much a fighter as Stanley Kowalski.”

In the town where Williams worked on many of his major plays, theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate his enduring influence in the 21st Century. “Our contemporary artists surprise and delight audiences by reinterpreting Williams’ works in new ways,” says Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin.  “Our audiences discover that Williams was often ahead of his time in his experimental work.”

The Festival takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013.  It is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor. For more information and tickets, go to www.twptown.org

 

Tennessee Williams Fest Sets Stage for "one of 10 best small towns" (7-8-13)

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Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Sets the Stage for

“one of the top ten small towns in America”

September 26 – 29, 2013

 

(Provincetown, MA, July 8, 2013) This year, both Fodors and Smithsonian Magazine named Provincetown, MA as  “one of the top ten small towns” in America for the beauty of its beaches, its thriving art colony and gourmet restaurants.

One of the best times to discover the town is in late September during the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, the country’s largest performing arts festival that celebrates America’s great playwright.  Tennessee Williams drafted several of his masterpieces here in the picturesque dune shacks, historic wharves and narrow streets.

The Festival draws visitors from over 30 states and six countries for unforgettable shows and exciting parties set in special spots throughout the town -- from 19th Century homes and the beautifully renovated Town Hall to popular nightclubs and historic waterside inns.

Discounts are offered by many of the Festival’s Lodging and Restaurant Partners.

“Stay and Play” Package Deals: Several Provincetown inns offer discount lodging and ticket packages, including the Festival’s Presenting Sponsor, The Crown and Anchor – where the box office is located. Stay four nights for the price of three, and receive two Flex Passes to the Festival (12 tickets), entry to the opening and closing parties, and a free t-shirt! Save hundreds of dollars in luxurious inns. www.twptown.org/package-deals

More discounts for festival-goers at a range of casual spots, ocean-view landmarks and high luxury suites are offered here:  www.twptown.org/where-to-stay.

This year’s festival, 50% Illusion: Tennessee Williams and Women  features drama, burlesque, dance, poetry and music illuminating the powerful women’s roles he created. The slate of eight productions includes:   

  • Williams’ masterpiece, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with real life husband and wife Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon playing Big Daddy and Big Mama;
  • a stunning production of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore from South Africa,
  • a world premiere of Williams’ early work In The Chorus Girls Plays, framed in a burlesque show; 
  • avant-garde performers Mink Stole and Penny Arcade in The Mutilated, Williams’ experimental ‘slapstick tragedy.’ 

TICKET INFORMATION

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival takes place Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013. Festival passes, including access to all shows, are available now online at www.twptown.org or by calling 1-866-789-TENN (8366).  A Carte Blanche Pass includes tickets to all performances as well as access to exclusive donor parties, events, and more.  Special group packages, student prices, and Flex Passes are also available. For full details on Festival performances and events, visit www.twptown.org.                                           

Founded in 2006 in the town where Tennessee Williams worked on many of his masterpieces, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to American’s great playwright.

The Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor.

 

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2013 Season Announcement (6-1-13)

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Contact: Rory Marcus
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8th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Announces 2013 Season:
Tennessee Williams and Women:  50% Illusion
Thursday, September 26 – Sunday September 29, 2013

A woman's charm is 50% illusion.
­­      -Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

(June 1, 2013)  This September theater artists from around the globe will converge on the seaside village of Provincetown, where Williams worked over several summers, to celebrate America’s great playwright with a program of plays, dance, film and performance art organized around the theme of Tennessee Williams and Women:  50% Illusion. 

The four-day Festival offers audiences an immersion into the creative life of one of the world’s most influential playwrights through performances of his enduring classics as well as his little-known experimental work, along with plays by women who were creating women characters in their own way.

Festival Curator David Kaplan says, “In creating women's roles, Williams understood that women leading real lives, as Blanche points out in Streetcar, have had to create illusions for themselves and for others in order to survive.”

This year’s Festival will share with audiences how Williams’ changed his depictions of women as women’s roles changed in society.  As Kaplan says, “Fragile grace got replaced with powerful grace, often combined with powerful laughter.”

Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin says “We strive to bring our audiences a profound and joyful experience of Tennessee Williams in full.  Our contemporary artists surprise and delight audiences by reinterpreting Williams’ works in new ways, discovering that he was often ahead of his time in his experimental work.”

The Williams’ plays audiences will see are:

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?  -- I wish I knew…Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.”

                                                                                                                          -Maggie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This Pulitzer Prize winning classic, stars Keir Dullea as Big Daddy and his wife Mia Dillon as Big Mama.  Dullea is thrilled to revisit this legendary 1974 Broadway revival in which he played the role of Brick opposite Elizabeth Ashley.  Both Dullea and Dillon have appeared in many stage productions as well as film and TV.  Dillon was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of ‘Babe’ in Crimes of the Heart on Broadway.   Dullea most recently appeared in Tales From Hollywood at the Guthrie Theatre.  He is well known for his film roles in “David and Lisa” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”    They will both be seen in the soon to be released film “Isn’t It Delicious.”

This production comes from Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater and is directed by Elizabeth Falk, known for her work in classical and contemporary dramatic theatre , musical theatre and opera at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Off-Broadway, and Shakespeare’s Globe London where she was the first woman ever to direct..

Slapstick Tragedy:  The Mutilated

Slapstick Tragedy was the name Williams gave to a double bill on Broadway in 1966.  The Mutilated was the first play on the bill.   Director Cosmin Chivu considers it one of the funniest, strangest, most neglected, and most moving of Tennessee Williams' later plays.  

Brought to us by Beth Bartley Productions, the show stars Mink Stole, the famous cult favorite of John Waters’ films, and Penny Arcade, New York’s avant-garde performance artist and superstar of Andy Warhol’s Factory.   In this play, a Texas oil heiress (Mink Stole) desperately hides her ‘shameful’ secret while her drunk and derelict frenemy (Penny Arcade) plots to reveal it to the world.  Cosmin Chivu has directed many Williams’ plays including Something Cloudy, Something Clear at the Festival in 2011. 

Kingdom of Earth

“As directed by Fred Abrahamse, the play grabbed hold of your throat and slowly, purposefully, squeezed your breath away. … the effect was riveting ..." - Robert Israel,  Edge Magazine.

This production from Cape Town, South Africa that captivated Festival audiences last year comes back to the Cape after winning awards and acclaim.  The returning stars in this Abrahamse & Meyer Productions show are Anthea Thompson, Marcel Meyer and Nicholas Dallas.

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore 

This year Abrahamse & Meyer Productions also brings us an unconventional and provocative production of Williams’ ‘sophisticated fairy tale.’ It stars leading South African stage and screen actress Jennifer Steyn as Sissy Goforth, an eccentric millionaire consumed with writing her memoirs confronted by an enigmatic young poet, companion to wealthy women as they near death.  Marcel Meyer, Nicholas Dallas and Roelof Storm also star in this production

The Chorus Girl Plays   

Framed in a burlesque revue of chorus line dancers, the Festival presents the world premiere of Williams’ Curtains for the Gentleman along with two other early plays by Tom Williams (not yet Tennessee), with good time girls in central roles.  This innovative show comes to the Festival from Danszloop Chicago with choreography by Paula Frasz.                                 

Tennessee Williams and Women will also spotlight a modern take on a popular Williams’ classic in:                                                                                                                       

Neo-Benshi “A Streetcar Named Desire” Performed by Poet Roxi Power

Neo-Benshi is the performance art started by San Francisco poets in 2003 that builds on the Japanese tradition of the ‘benshi.’  When silent movies came to Japan, the benshi, a traditional

Japanese storyteller, stood by the screen, acting out the roles.  Today, standing alongside the projected film, Poet Roxi Power lip-synchs a humorous alternative narrative that sabotages the scenes even as it expands our pleasure in the original film.   

As a special added attraction, ‘Miss Lulu Bett,’ a silent film based on the 1920 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Zona Gale – the first woman to receive the Pulitzer for Drama – will be shown, accompanied by live music.

This year the Festival also includes plays by women creating women characters in their own way.       

In the Summer House by Jane Bowles  

Tennessee Williams called this play “not only the most original play I have ever read, I think it also the oddest and funniest and one of the most touching.” 

In the Summer House centers on a young woman trying to break free from a possessive mother, a theme that resonated deeply with Williams.  Critics were not so kind.  One insisted that “all the important characters were…mentally deranged,” while another saw it as a saga of “female crackpots.”

Festival Curator David Kaplan directs this new workshop production followed by a discussion of the play’s many connections to Williams.  The workshop takes place around a swimming pool and features stars of former TW Fest productions:  From Orpheus Descending (TW Fest 2011, 2012):  Irene Glezos, Beth Bartley and Brenda Currin; also Jack Kesy from I Never Get Dressed Before Dark on Sundays (TW Fest 2012) and introducing Juliet Brett.   

Pink Melon Joy by Gertrude Stein

Williams’ wrote in his diary, “I enjoy reading Gertrude Stein at night, I love the cold wine at supper.”

In her play Pink Melon Joy, Stein uproots words and overturns audience expectations.  Her rhythmic use of words and language sheds new light on Williams’ language.  Listening to the rhythm, sound and cadence of Stein’s words, audiences will recognize Williams’ similar delight in the musicality and drama of the spoken word.

Stein is considered one of the giants of literary modernism as well as a patron of the avant-garde modernist painters in Paris.  During the 1920’s she wrote stream-of-consciousness experiments, rhythmical "portraits", designed to evoke "the excitingness of pure being" that can be seen as literature's answer to Cubism and breakthroughs in modern art. 

This new production is directed by Katherine Brook.

Along with the performances, the Festival offers special parties and mixers with the casts. 

To further illuminate Williams’ contribution to the theater, the Festival offers talks and seminars:  

Tennessee Williams 101

With contributions from festival directors and performers this talk offers insights into the current plays and how they relate to Williams’ overall work.

Tennessee Williams Institute

This graduate level symposium combines seminars by distinguished Williams’ scholars with the Festival performances.  This year’s faculty includes David Savrin, Annette Saddick, Thomas Keith and poet Roxi Power.  

Provincetown artist  Bill Evaul, who collaborated with the Festival by creating original artwork for Tennessee Williams and Music last year, has again collaborated with the Festival to create a series of works that evoke the essence of the shows for Tennessee Williams and Women.  

 Ticket Info: 

Tickets are on sale online at www.twptown.org or by phone at 866/789-TENN (8366). Tickets can be purchased individually or in special packages, such as the Carte Blanche VIP all access pass, the Flex Pass which allows you to create your own package, and the Discount Student Study Pass for full time students. Discounts are also available for groups.  Many hotels and restaurants also offer discounts for festival-goers.    

Attached is an image of Jennifer Steyn in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, photo credit Fiona MacPherson

 

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Sarah Peake Guest Auctioneer at Wine Women and Williams (6-1-13)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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State Representative Sarah Peake

Guest Auctioneer at Wine Women and Williams Gala

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

June 1, 2013

 (Provincetown, MA, May 14, 2013) Massachusetts State Representative Sarah Peake, who representsCape Cod’s 4th Barnstable District, from Harwich to Provincetown, has been a leader in the fight for tourism funds for many years, most recently as Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.

 At the Wine Women and Williams Gala, Peake will auction off three items:

 *An oil painting by popular Provincetown artist, TJ Walton

 *A photograph of Natasha Richardson as Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Rivka Katvan, the reknowned photographer of the Broadway Theater taken at the Roundabout Theater in New York in 2005.

*A Trip to California’s Napa Valley Wine Country For Two Including airfare, 3 night stay at the Meritage Resort and Spa, a Hot Air Balloon Ride, Winery Tours & Tastings

This 2nd Annual Dinner for the Festival includes a cocktail hour and elegant dinner created by Chef Derek Burgess at Provincetown Town Hall.  The full Festival program for this year’s theme of 50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women which runs September 26 – 29, 2013 will be announced at this time.

Attached is an image of Natasha Richardson by Rivka Katvan

Details for Wine Women and Williams Gala, Saturday, June 1st 2013
6:30 pm - Cocktail Hour; 7:30 pm - Dinner & Auction at Town Hall , 260 Commercial St.

$125 Dinner for One; $75 Cocktail Hour Only; $1000 Table of Eight

The event is sponsored by Far Land Provisions and Marc Jacobs.

For more information and tickets for the Gala go to www.twptown.org

Tickets for the Festival go on sale June 1, 2013 at www.twptown.org

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to American’s great playwright.  Theater artists from around the globe come together to perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate the enduring influence of Tennessee Williams in the 21st Century. The 8th Festival, 50% Illusion:  Tennessee Williams and Women takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013.   

 

 

 

Elizabeth Ashley Guest of Honor at Gala (4-29-13)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7326

 

Elizabeth Ashley, Guest Of Honor At
Wine Women And Williams Gala
For The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

June 1, 2013

 

(Provincetown, MA – April 26, 2013) Tony award-winning actor Elizabeth Ashley, well-known as one of the definitive interpreters of Tennessee Williams’ women, will share stories of her friendship with the great American playwright and the classic roles she played at this year’s fundraising Gala to launch the 8th season of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival: 50% Illusion: Tennessee Williams and Women.

Early in her career, Ashley won a Tony nomination for her portrayal of “Maggie” in the 1974 Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, “Playing Maggie,” Ashley says, “saved my life.” She became close friends with Williams and went on to portray three of the playwright’s most memorable female roles in Suddenly, Last SummerSweet Bird of Youth and The Glass Menagerie. In 2005, 31 years after playing "Maggie," she was again a success in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, this time as "Big Mama."

This 2nd Annual Dinner for the Festival includes a cocktail hour and elegant dinner created by Chef Derek Burgess at Provincetown Town Hall. The full Festival program which runs September 26 – 29, 2013 will be announced at this time.

“Williams created some of the most profound roles for women in theater for all time,” said Festival Curator David Kaplan. “He gave words for new kinds of women onstage – the deceptively strong, the strongly deceptive, the self-doubting, the frankly desirous, the self-determined – all of them invariably unforgettable.”

Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin added, “We’ll announce our nine productions that explore Williams' classics, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and his wild experiments, alongside plays by Gertrude Stein, Susan Glaspell and other playwrights who were re-imagining women's roles.”

There will also be music and a Live Art Auction featuring the work of popular Provincetown artist TJ Walton. (See attached image of TJ painting #7 Brooklyn Bridge, mixed media 16” x 20.”)

Elizabeth Ashley’s career has spanned screen and stage and she is currently delighting TV audiences in the role of Aunt Mimi in HBO’s Tremé. She is also writing “Heretic,” an autobiography. (Attached is a more complete biography and an image of Elizabeth Ashley, photo credit Bruce Glikas.)

Details for Wine Women and Williams Gala: Saturday, June 1st 2013,?6:30 pm Cocktail Hour, 7:30 pm  Dinner & Auction at Town Hall, 260 Commercial St. $125 Dinner for One; $75 Cocktail Hour Only; $1000 Table of Eight.?The event is sponsored by Far Land Provisions and Marc Jacobs.

For more information and tickets for the Gala go to www.twptown.org

Tickets for the Festival go on sale June 1, 2013 at www.twptown.org

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to American’s great playwright. Theater artists from around the globe come together to perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate the enduring influence of Tennessee Williams in the 21st Century. The 8th Festival, 50% Illusion: Tennessee Williams and Women takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, September 29, 2013.

 

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2012 Season Announcement (6-2-12)

Download this Press Release  PDF

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
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508.694.7326

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival Announces
Tennessee Williams and Music 
2012 Program:  September 20 – 23, 2012

“In memory everything seems to happen to music”

-Tom, The Glass Menagerie

 

(Provincetown, MA – June 2, 2012) The 7th Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival announced that this year’s program of “Tennessee Williams and Music” will present the pleasures of music in the drama of America’s great playwright. The seaside village of Provincetown will be alive with the sounds of blues, Mariachi, Dixieland, American Pop, Art Song and African drums.  Theater artists from around the globe will converge on this art colony where Williams worked over several summers in the 1940s, performing his classics, his little known works and new works that he has inspired. 

This year art will also convey the spirit of music in Williams’ works.  The Festival is collaborating with artist and musician Bill Evaul, the well-known master of the white-line woodcut, Provincetown’s distinctive art form.  Evaul is creating a series of ten original woodcuts that capture the musical essence of the program’s individual shows.

Festival co-founder and Curator David Kaplan says, “Williams’ musical tastes were wide and varied, influenced by the jukebox, the radio, New Orleans jazz, the sounds of the Mississippi Delta where he grew up, and the foreign countries he visited repeatedly:  Mexico and Italy.  Williams invited music onstage, often ironically, as an important element of a vibrant theater, revealing character and conflict.”

“We present Tennessee Williams the writer in full at our Festivals,” says Kaplan. “He was a dramatist, a poet, a short story writer.  He wrote classics that are continually produced, and he wrote numerous one-act plays that set out the roots for his longer works, often experimenting and stretching the boundaries of theater.  Conventional critics of his time didn’t always like when he went beyond their expectations of lyrical realism, but nowadays artists from around the world look at Williams’ writing with a fresh eye and interpret texts in ways that give us new pleasure in his creative genius.” 

Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin says, “We bring Tennessee Williams into the 21st Century by presenting innovative productions from theater artists who continue to be creatively inspired by him in new work. This year we have exciting productions coming from Italy, South Africa, Alabama, Boston, and New York and we’ll present them in different venues around the town.  Not only will you know Williams more fully, you’ll enjoy the unique seaside village of Provincetown more fully.”  The productions are:

The Glass Menagerie 

In this bittersweet classic Williams remembers with regret the lost chance his sister had for love. There’s a fiddle in the wings and old records on a wind-up gramophone which move the audience to feel Laura’s longing.

This inaugural production of the Actors Theatre of Alabama in Birmingham stars Celeste Burnum as Amanda and is directed by Jamie Lawrence.  Barnun has memorably played many of Williams’ roles.  The Birmingham News says she ‘rules the stage here as Blanche.”

 

Ten Blocks on the Camino Real

Masks, marionettes, and a mariachi band enliven Ten Blocks on the Camino Real in this “enchanting” dreamscape from Boston’s Beau Jest Theater, the multi-award winning New England theater company known for their imaginative productions and a joyous physical acting style.  Beau Jest also staged the past world premieres of TW Fest’s The Remarkable Rooming-House of Madame LeMonde and American Gothic. 

Ten Blocks was written in the 1940's at the peak of Williams’ creative powers. It was meant to be an impressionistic melding of poetry, music, masks, and dance to capture the world we live in with a new kind of "plastic theater." The play was never produced, but was expanded for Broadway as the more convoluted and realistic Camino Real, which was not well-received by critics.  With this production, director Davis Robinson, is the first to ever follow Williams’ stage directions.

 

Kingdom of Earth 

Williams describes the set of this play as having “the mood of a blues song whose subject is lonliness.” 

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions, an award-winning classical theater company of South Africa, will present the Williams rarely performed masterpiece, Kingdom of Earth (aka The Seven Descents of Myrtle.) This is a tale of half brothers battling for possession of a new bride while a flood threatens to consume them.  This savage, sexy and darkly comic play deals poignantly with racial discrimination, land ownership and familial dysfunction, themes that resonate deeply within a South African context.  

Acclaimed South African composer and musical director, who is also collaborating with Eve Ensler on I Am An Emotional Creature, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder has created a soundscape and score for this show.

 

i blues di Tennessee Williams – American Premiere

From Bergamo, Italy, two actresses, two languages, three musicians, four scenes in variations and improvisations that exalt the rhythm and blues of the writing of Williams. The scenes present fourteen essential characters from four short Williams’ plays:  This Property Is Condemned, Portrait of a Madonna, The Unsatisfactory Supper and The Dark Room.  The live music -- including counter bass, trombone, and guitar -- was conceived as a character adding a language of its own. 

Alessandra Ingoglia and Maria Teresa Galati, who created the unique event, will perform in English (and Italian).   The MatèTeatro company, now in its seventh year was awarded the CRT Teatrodi Milano for this production’s originality and emotional impact on the public.

 

I Never Get Dressed Till Before Dark on Sundays – American Premiere

Pratfalls, shame, and terror mix into this hilarious nightmare of a rehearsal in which the actors complain to their Southern playwright about his florid language, written by Tennessee Williams in 1973.  Popular songs play on and the borders between comedy and tragedy drop as do the borders between performance and reality.

Directed by Infinite Theatre’s Nick Potenzieri, who staged TW Fest’s outstanding hit production of Orpheus Descending in 2010 and 2011.  Craig Dudley, a friend of Williams from the 1970s, plays the slumming British stage director late for a dinner party in the Hamptons.

 

Auto-da-fé

Performed on the side porch of the Gifford House, Auto-da-fé blazes with a parade of live music from the Hot Tamale Brass Band, and extraordinary costumes direct from New Orleans, courtesy of the Krewe of Armeinius.

Upsetting letters with unseemly photographs have been mailed to a young New Orleans’ man who doesn’t want his mother to see them and will do desperate things to keep that from happening. As he evades sharp questions on the porch there’s the persistent sound of music approaching.  In this production it’s the flamboyant Mardi Gras Krewe of Armeinius in a feather-studded march down the street accompanied by a live Dixieland band.

 

Autumn Song

Minneapolis composer George Maurer plays piano and conducts his celebrated jazz ensemble in a song cycle – a dramatization where the poet Tennessee Williams and German poet Rainer Maria Rilke meet in a musical conversation of poetry infusing jazz, gospel and art song. 

In the summer of 1940, when Williams first moved to Provincetown for the season, he fell wholeheartedly in love for the first time, writing and rewriting poems. That summer he read Rilke’s romantic poetry, which he knew from college, with new understanding and passion.

Maurer is one of Minnesota’s premier jazz pianists and his work as performer, arranger and composer has taken him all over the world.  He has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, arranged music for the Chiffons, and written two original scores for the Saint Paul City Ballet, among other accomplishments. 

The original Minneapolis production comes to us directed by Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin.

 

The Tennessee Williams Songbook

Twice Tony-nominated Broadway actor and singer Alison Fraser, a hit in last year’s festival “Dirty Shorts” performs a sparkling lounge act with powerhouse pianist Allison Leyton Brown known for raising the rafters will entertain with a jewel box of pop songs from plays by Tennessee Williams and other unexpected delights from country-western ballads, Mississippi blues, and Latin love songs. The collection of songs and direction is by Festival Curator David Kaplan.

 

Gift of an Orange

Beating drums and the smell of gumbo cooking welcome the Festival audience to the hidden outdoor Garden Wa, an oasis in the heart of Provincetown in this production from Boston’s New Urban Theatre Laboratory, a theater company created to investigate the stories and voices of those who exist on the margins of society.

A hitch-hiker down on his luck falls off the beaten path in Tennessee Williams short story “Gift of an Apple” (written in1936).   Award-winning playwright Charlene Donaghy, inspired by images of a young man’s innocence and an older woman’s body wisdom has written this new play, Gift of an Orange, set in the wilderness of the Louisiana bayou. The play won a Love Experiment Award from the NutLab and was chosen to open their 2012 season, directed by Jackie Davis. 

 

The South is Everywhere

We will show this new Austrian documentary with interviews from the Mississippi Delta and rare footage of a Tennessee Williams interview.  The filmmaker Herb Krill will attend the showing to answer questions.

 

Other events at the Festival will include parties with the actors and jam sessions with musicians.

 

Ticket Info:

Tickets are on sale online at www.twptown.org or by phone at 866/789-TENN (8366). Tickets can be purchased individually or in special packages, such as the Carte Blanche VIP all access pass, the Flex Pass that allows you to create your own package, and the Discount Student Study Pass for full time students. Discounts are also available for groups.  Many hotels and restaurants also offer discounts to festival-goers.    

 

Attached is an image of Bill Evaul’s Woodcut, “Tennessee Williams and Music.”

For details on shows, see http://www.twptown.org/shows

For details on Provincetown, see http://www.twptown.org/your-visit

 

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Annual Dinner Gala (5-9-12)

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Contact: Rory Marcus
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508.694.7326


7th TENNESSEE WILLIAMS THEATER FESTIVAL
ANNOUNCES 2012 PROGRAM AT "WINE WILLIAMS & SONG"
Gala Dinner, Performances and Live 'Williams Auction'
PAAM - June 2, 2012 

(Provincetown, MA-May 9, 2012) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival will announce the program for this year’s theme, Tennessee Williams and Music, at its first gala fundraising dinner.   Guests will be treated to a sneak preview of one of this year’s productions, “Autumn Song,” an exclusive auction and art exhibition of white-line woodcuts by Bill Evaul, and a special appearance by entertainer Zoe Lewis.

 

A series of works created by renowned Provincetown artist Bill Evaul especially for this year’s Festival will be revealed in a one-night exhibition of Tennessee Williams and Music White-line Woodcut Prints.   Co-founder and curator of the festival David Kaplan says, “It’s apt that our image reflect Provincetown’s artistic heritage with woodcuts created for us by a master of this genre.  Bill’s style, energy and love of music perfectly convey the pleasures of music integral to this year’s shows.”  The first print Evaul created, the portrait of Tennessee Williams with musical notes rising from his cigarette smoke, will be sold in a live auction, exclusively for dinner guests.   

 

Other special Williams’ items to be auctioned live are:

  • A French Quarter Getaway for Two – a week in New Orleans, where Tennessee Williams lived, wrote and set some of his plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire. Package includes z one-bedroom apartment, a personal tour of places that were important to Williams, Harrah’s casino credits, and dinner for two at a local restaurant.  
  • A Playbill from the original 1947 Broadway production of Williams’ groundbreaking play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” 

 

Minneapolis Composer and pianist George Maurer, will appear with the multi-talented bassist and vocalist, Jeff Engholm, to perform a number from “Autumn Song.” In this innovative new production, Tennessee Williams will meet Rainer Maria Rilke in a dramatic musical conversation.  Executive Director of the Festival, Jef Hall-Flavin says, “Tennessee Williams was a first a poet and during the time he lived in Provincetown he was inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry. George Maurer fuses jazz and gospel into an emotional song style that’s perfectly suited for Rilke and Williams’ poetry.”  

 

To round out the evening, the popular Zoe Lewis, singer and multi-instrumentalist will make a special appearance, singing and playing her own brand of music with a world-beat groove.  

 

The award-winning Far Land Provisions will serve up a creative assortment of hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sumptuous summer dinner created by Guest Chef, Derik Burgess.  To date, sponsors are Far Land Provisions, PAAM, Perry's Liquors, and 8 Dyer Hotel. 

 

Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.twptown.org or by calling 866-789-TENN (8366).

 

Images attached:  Woodcut Portrait of Tennessee Williams by Bill Evaul; Composer George Maurer

 

Details: 

At the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial Street 

6:30 pm - Cocktail Hour with Bill Evaul;   7:30 pm - Dinner and Entertainment with Live Auction

$75 - Cocktail Hour Only; $125 - Dinner for One;  $1000 - Table of Eight

See www.twptown.org for more details 

 

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival takes place in various venues throughout the seaside village of Provincetown from Thursday, September 20 through Sunday, September 23, 2012.   Theater artists from around the globe come together to perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate the enduring influence of America’s great playwright Tennessee Williams in the 21st Century.   Visit www.twptown.org  

 

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Orpheus Descending Tour to Mississippi (1-25-12)

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Contact: Jef Hall-Flavin
director@twptown.org
866.789.TENN


A TOUR OF "ORPHEUS DESCENDING"
BRINGS TENNESSEE WILLIAMS HOME TO MISSISSIPPI
in Columbus, Oxford and Jackson, February 23 - March 3

January 26,2012, Provincetown, MA, USA – Backed by Mississippi cultural leaders, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is teaming up with The Infinite Theatre to bring their popular production of ORPHEUS DESCENDING to Tennessee Williams' home state of Mississippi next month. A total of nine performancesare planned in three cities: Columbus, Oxford and Jackson, Mississippi, from February 23rd through March 3rd.

For the past two years, this powerful rendition of ORPHEUS has been called "thrilling" with "outstanding performances." It was a runaway success at the annual fall Festival, held in September in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Arts,culture and political leaders from Mississippi were so impressed with theproduction that a coalition of supporters has been formed and funds were raised for the New York-based Infinite Theatre's production to come to Mississippi. It is co-produced by the Festival with over 20 people involved.

Tennessee Williams said, "Home is where you hang your childhood. For me that is Mississippi." The Mississippi Division of Tourism has recently become asponsor of the Provincetown Festival as a way of reaching a new audience.Theatergoers from 33 states visit Provincetown for the Festival, and this tour is another opportunity for solidifying partnerships between Mississippi and Massachusetts.

Sarah McCullough manages Cultural and Heritage Development for Mississippi Tourism. After seeing ORPHEUS DESCENDING last September in Provincetown, she was amazed at how Williams "so brilliantly expressed the complexities of human interaction and emotion." She also added, "We in Mississippi have a special capacity to understand the people in this play."

"What an amazing opportunity to bring this exquisite play back to its roots where it belongs," says the play's director, Nick Potenzieri, "We are incredibly honored to be invited."

About the Play

The production is conceived as a morality play – to be performed in a house of worship. The imagery in the text comes not only from the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, but from Williams' own Episcopal upbringing in small-town Mississippi. Three local churches will play host to this innovative show.

ORPHEUS DESCENDING takes place in the Mississippi Delta, where Williams spent his boyhood until the age of 7. The play follows the handsome, guitar-playing Val Xavier (Thomas Beaudoin) as he tries valiantly to turn his back on corruption. He appears in a metaphorical purgatory, arriving mysteriously in a small-town dry goods store run by an Italian immigrant named Lady Torrance (Irene Glezos). She's married to an old, dying man, but Lady takes in the alluring drifter, giving him a bed in the store and therebyunlocking her long-repressed desire. Val's arrival stirs up the insular,suspicious townspeople, leading to his inevitable expulsion, while thefree-wheeling misfit, Carol Cutrere (Beth Bartley), haunts Lady's store in atangle of innocence and vice. Broken, brazen and defiant, these three tragic heroes are the ultimate outsiders. Yet their ordinary weaknesses reveal extraordinary zeal.

About the Tour

In Columbus, Mississippi, the production is hosted by the Tennessee Williams Tribute, led by Brenda Caradine, who has teamed up with the First United Methodist Church to put on the play. Ms. Caradine is an annual attendee at the Provincetown Festival, and a tireless supporter of Tennessee Williams. The Tribute, which is an annual celebration of Williams' birthplace, has presentedseveral productions that were first shown at the Festival in Provincetown, but ORPHEUS is by far the largest production they have undertaken in Columbus. The Tributeand its generous supporters will beproviding scenery, props, and transportation. Three local actors will also be taking part.

In Oxford, Mississippi, the production is hosted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, led by Wayne Andrews, who has partnered with the Paris-Yates chapel on the campus of the University of Mississippi, "Ole Miss."  The Arts Council in Oxford has also made in-roads with another important cultural body, the Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival in Clarksdale, where the company will enjoy their day off exploring the areas where Williams set many of hisplays, including ORPHEUS.

In Jackson, Mississippi, the production is hosted by the Greater Jackson Arts Council and coordinated by local resident Jane Alexander, who has engaged the hospitality of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in the trendy Fondren neighborhood. Fondren Renaissance Foundation, Cabot Lodge Millsaps, Fairview Inn, New Stage Theatre and countless others have shown support for the production. The company will close the tour in the state capital of Jackson, and return to New York from there.

Ms. McCullough is elated that the play is on its way to her home state."For Mississippians, cultural heritage tourism is really about being a tourist at home and experiencing Mississippi's contributions to American culture." She says, "Given the richness of our literary heritage, having a New York theater company of this caliber bringing Williams' work home to Mississippi is not only an incredible opportunity for inspiration, but it is indicative of how far Williams' legacy reaches."

"The outpouring of support has been phenomenal," says Jef Hall-Flavin, Executive Director of the Provincetown Festival. "I couldn't be more pleased at how this stunning production is connecting people through the genius of our great American playwright. Here is real evidence of the marvelous synergy between our three Tennessee Williams festivals."

Performance and Ticket Information

ORPHEUS DESCENDING
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Nick Potenzieri
Produced by the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and TheInfinite Theatre

Tickets are available at the door at all venues.

Columbus, MS
First United Methodist Church, Artz Fellowship Hall
602 College St. / Columbus, MS 39701
Box Office: 662-328-ARTS (2787)  / Columbus Arts Council 501 Main St, Columbus 

Performances:
Feb 23 ($5) Preview – 7 pm
Feb 24 – 7 pm
Feb 25 – 7 pm

Tickets: $15 Adults/ $10 Senior or Military / $5 Students

Oxford,MS
Paris-Yates Chapel
University of Mississippi / Oxford, MS
Box Office: 662.236.6429  www.oxfordarts.com 

Performances:
Feb 26 – 7pm
Feb 27 – 7pm
Feb 28 – 2pm

Tickets: $10 Adults/$5 Students

Jackson,MS
St Luke's United Methodist Church
621 Duling Ave / Jackson, MS 39216
Box Office: www.orpheusinfondren.com and select Fondren merchants 

Performances:
Mar 1 – 7pm
Mar 2 – 7pm
Mar 3 – 7pm

Tickets: $10 Adults/ $5 Students

For further information about the ProvincetownTennessee Williams Theater Festival, visit www.twptown.org

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Alma - Portuguese Theater in Provincetown (8-1-11)

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August 1, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7326

 

Portuguese Theater Comes to Provincetown 

 

the World Premiere of ALMA
conceived and performed by Lisbon’s Companhia de Teatro Carbono
at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
September 22 – 25, 2011

 

Portuguese theater artists Pedro Vieira and Inês Tarouca have created an exciting dance-based performance with text and songs in Portuguese with English translation for the special centennial celebration of America’s great playwright, Tennessee Williams.  They were inspired by Williams’ play Summer and Smoke and the main character’s unfulfilled longing for the love of her life.

ALMA is directed by Rita Calçada Bastos, and features Bruno Simões, Joana Brandão, Inês Tarouca and Pedro Vieira.

Festival Director Jef Hall-Flavin says “We’re thrilled we can celebrate the unique bond between Provincetown and Portuguese culture. It’s a connection that comes full circle with Tennessee Williams’ past and our Festival’s annual theme.” This year’s theme, Double Exposure: Past and Present explores Williams’ life and the simultaneous nature of memory.

During the 1940’s, Tennessee Williams spent four summers in Provincetown as he was becoming discovered.  During his first summer, it was the Portuguese-speaking community who fed him for free, offered him rooms in exchange for poems, and whose fishermen befriended him. Their hospitality, guitar music and fado singing inform his imagery as do the rhythms of its lyrical language.

Festival Curator, David Kaplan, having worked previously with Mr. Vieira, was intrigued by the idea for the piece, and invited the new production to make its world premiere at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Kaplan is working with the company in Lisbon as they polish this world-premiere performance.

The Carbono Theater Company (Companhia de Teatro Carbono) was formed in 2011 to create artistic projects and creative processes centered on the actor’s craft and to promote internationalization of its plays, confrontation of different cultures and creative processes, by establishing exchange and co-productions with foreign companies and artists.  ALMA is their first production.  It is supported by Portuguese Minister of Culture, DG Artes, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and International Service.

Inês Tarouca has been working professionally as a contemporary dancer since 2002, as an actress since 2008 and is the co-founder of Teatro Carbono.  In Dance she has worked with several choreographers such as Clara Andermatt and Sofia Silva. In cinema, she is the leading actress of Consequences, by Luís Ismael, and Faminto, by Hernani Duarte Maria. She worked as an assistant director in (ab)surdo, by Pedro Vieira. Inês studied acting Meisner technique with John Frey, and attended acting workshops with Marcia Haufrecht, John Mowat and Kate Hilder. In 2011 she created Portable Piece, a dance-theatre performance inspired on the aging process.

Pedro Vieira has been working professionally as an actor since 2004 and is the co-founder of Teatro Carbono. In Theater he has worked with directors as Cristina Carvalhal, Ana Nave, Filomena Oliveira e Mafalda Santos. “(ab)surdo”, a monologue about the Portuguese Colonial War, is his first own play, which he performed and directed. In cinema he is the leading actor of “Laudamus Vita” (2010). He has also studied acting in ESTC (National Conservatory), HB Studio, and had several workshops with Marcia Haufrecht, William Esper and David Kaplan, among others.

Rita Calçada Bastos graduated as an actress in 2006 at ESTC (National Conservatory). In Theatre she worked with several directors: Nuno M. Cardoso, Carla Bolito, Carlos António, Martim Pedroso, António Feio, João Brites, José Wallenstein, Álvaro Correia, Nuno Pino Custódio, Luca Apprea and the choreographer Olga Roriz. In cinema: O Crime do Padre Amaro, ?by Carlos Coelho da Silva, Felicitações Madame, by Olga Roriz, Ensaio sobre Teatro, documentary by Rui Simões. In Tv some soap operas and series: Todo o Tempo do Mundo, O Testamento, Liberdade 21, Feitiço de Amor, Morangos com Açúcar. She started as a director in 2007 with Grandes Sinais, her own creation, and 2009 was invited by the National Theater to direct a lecture. Alma is her 3rd project as a director.

Bruno Simões studied as an actor at I.F.I.C.T., 1993. Worked with several directors, such as: João Mota, Cristina Carvalhal, Alfredo Brissos, Bruno Bravo, Fernando Gomes, Francisco Salgado in plays by William Shakespeare, David Mamet, Miguel Castro Caldas, Alan Ayckbourn, Nelson Rodrigues, among others. In Tv he featured in some soap operas and series. In cinema the feature film by Francisco Manso : O Assalto ao Santa Maria.

Joana Brandão, studied acting in ESTC (National Conservatory), has been working professionally as an actor since 1997, In Theater she has worked with directors as João Mota, João Brites, Carlos Pimenta, Rui Mendes, José Peixoto, Fernando Gomes, Helena Pimenta, Álvaro Correia, Jean-Paul Buccieri , Bruno Bravo, Lúcia Sigalho, Francisco Campos, among others. Directed Caminhos, a monologue which she wrote and performed herself, As 4 Gémeas by Copi, and co-created and acted on Super-Heróis, a dance-theater piece. In cinema she worked with Sandro Aguilar and George Felner. In Tv some soap operas and series as:  Família Mata, Voo directo, Maternidade, Morangos com Açúcar Série V , Feitiço de Amor , Liberdade 21, Pai à Força.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Performances take place at the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA.
Thursday September 22 at 5:00pm
Saturday September 24 at 4:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday September 25 at 3:00pm.  

Tickets: $25 / Students and Groups of six or more: $20.
Purchase tickets online at www.twptown.org or by phone at 866.789.TENN.
Email groups@twptown.org for more information about bringing a group to Provincetown.

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Double Exposure: Past and Present takes place Sept 22 – 25, 2011 with performances by national and international artists.  For the entire schedule of events, as well as discounts offered by lodging and dining partners, visit www.twptown.org.

Teatro Portuges Chega a Provincetown (8-1-11)

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PARA DIVULGAÇÃO IMEDIATA
Contacto: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7326

Teatro Português chega a Provincetown

Estreia Mundial de ALMA
Nova criação da Companhia Lisboeta Teatro Carbono
no Festival de Teatro Tennessee Williams em Provincetown
Setembro 22 – 25, 2011

Dois artistas de teatro Portugueses, Pedro Vieira and Inês Tarouca criaram uma excitante performance de dança- teatro com textos e música em português e inglês para a especial ocasião do centenário do grande dramaturgo americano Tennessee Williams. Inspirados na peça Verão e Fumo de Tennessee Williams e na personagem principal e a sua espera incessante do amor da sua vida.

ALMA é encenada por Rita Calçada Bastos e interpretada por Bruno Simões, Joana Brandão, Inês Tarouca e Pedro Vieira.

Jef Hall-Flavin, director do Festival afirma "Estamos muito entusiasmados com a possibilidade de celebrar um laço único entre Provicetown e a cultura portuguesa. É uma relação que se completa com o passado de Tennessee Williams’ e o tema anual do nosso Festival." O tema deste ano, Dupla Revelação: Passado e Presente explora a vida de Williams e simultaneamente a natureza da memória.

Durante a década de 40, Tennessee Williams passou quarto Verões em Provincetown ao mesmo tempo que estava a ser conhecido publicamente. No seu primeiro Verão em Provicetown foi a comunidade Portuguesa que o alimentou gratuitamente e lhe ofereceu a estadia em troca de poemas, Williams criou amizades com os pescadores. A hospitalidade portuguesa juntamente com a guitarra e a voz do fado inspiraram o seu imaginário, tal como os ritmos da sua linguagem lírica.

O director artístico do Festival, David Kaplan, tendo trabalhado anteriormente com Pedro Vieira, ficou intrigado com a ideia da peça, e convidou esta nova produção para fazer a sua estreia mundial em Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. Kaplan esteve a trabalhar com a companhia em Lisboa no momento em que a peça está a ser aperfeiçoada para a sua estreia mundial.

Companhia de Teatro Carbono formada em 2011 com o objectivo de criar projectos artísticos centrados no trabalho de actor e na promoção internacional das suas peças, interessados no confrontando entre diferentes culturas e processos criativos, pretende estabelecer co-produções com companhias e artistas estrangeiros. ALMA é a primeira produção da companhia. Este espectáculo conta com o apoio do Ministério da Cultura/ Dgartes e do Serviço Internacional da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Inês Tarouca tem trabalhado profissionalmente como bailarina desde 2002, e como actriz desde 2008, é uma das co-fundadoras da Companhia Teatro Carbono. Na área da Dança trabalhou com vários coreógrafos portugueses de renome, tais como, Clara Andermatt, Amélia Bentes, Rui Horta e Sofia Silva. No cinema, foi actriz principal no filme Consequences de Luís Ismael, e em Faminto, de Hernani Duarte Maria. Trabalhou como assistente de encenação no espectáculo teatro (ab)surdo de Pedro Vieira. Inês estudou a técnica de actor Meisner com John Frey, participou em workshops de representação com Marcia Haufrecht, John Mowat e Kate Hilder. Em 2011 criou Peça Portátil, uma performance de dança-teatro inspirada no processo de envelhecimento.

Pedro Vieira trabalhou profissionalmente como actor desde 2004, é co-fundador da Companhia Teatro Carbono. No Teatro trabalhou com Ana Nave, Filomena Oliveira, Mafalda Santos e Cristina Carvalhal, esta última é actualmente uma das consultoras artísticas de Alma. "(ab)surdo", é um monólgo sobre a Guerra Colonial Portuguesa, esta foi a sua primeria peça que dirigiu e interpretou. No Cinema foi personagem principal em "Laudamus Vita" (2010). Fez os seus estudos de actor no curso de actores na Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema e HB Studio. Participou em diversos workshops com Marcia Haufrecht, William Esper e David Kaplan, entre outros.

Joana Brandão, estudou na Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema, curso de actor, tem trabalhado profissionalmente como actriz desde 1997, no Teatro trabalhou com encenadores como João Mota, João Brites, Carlos Pimenta, Rui Mendes, José Peixoto, Fernando Gomes, Helena Pimenta, Álvaro Correia, Jean-Paul Bucchieri , Bruno Bravo, Lúcia Sigalho, Francisco Campos, entre outros. Encenou e interpretou Caminhos, um monólogo um texto da sua autoria, As 4 Gémeas de Copi, e co-criou e interpretou Super-Heróis, um espectáculo dança-teatro. No Cinema trabalhou com Sandro Aguilar eGeorge Felner. Em Televisão participou em novelas e séries, tais como: Família Mata, Voo directo, Maternidade, Morangos com Açúcar Série V , Feitiço de Amor , Liberdade 21, Pai à Força.

Bruno Simões estudou como actor no I.F.I.C.T., 1993. Trabalhou com diversos encenadores, tais como: João Mota, Cristina Carvalhal, Alfredo Brissos, Bruno Bravo, Fernando Gomes, Francisco Salgado em peças de autores como: William Shakespeare, David Mamet, Miguel Castro Caldas, Alan Ayckbourn, Nelson Rodrigues, entre muitos outros. Em Televisão foi actor em diversas novelas e séries. No Cinema participou no filme de Francisco Manso : O Assalto ao Santa Maria.

Rita Calçada Bastos graduou-se como actriz em 2006 na Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema. No Teatro trabalhou com vários encenadores: Nuno M. Cardoso, Carla Bolito, Carlos António, Martim Pedroso, António Feio, João Brites, José Wallenstein, Álvaro Correia, Nuno Pino Custódio, Luca Apprea e a coreografa Olga Roriz. No Cinema: O Crime do Padre Amaro de Carlos Coelho da Silva, Felicitações Madame de Olga Roriz, Ensaio sobre Teatro, documentário de Rui Simões. Em Televisão e novelas: Todo o Tempo do Mundo, O Testamento, Liberdade 21, Feitiço de Amor, Morangos com Açúcar. Começou o seu trabalho enquanto encenadora em 2007 com Grandes Sinais, criação de sua autoria, e em 2009 foi convidada pelo Teatro Nacional para dirigir uma leitura encenada. Alma é a sua 3ª encenação.

INFORMAÇÕES SOBRE A PREFORMANCE

As performances terão lugar no Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA.
Quinta-feira, 22 de Setembro às 5:00pm
Sábado, 24 de Setembro às 4:00pm e às 8:00pm
Domingo, 25 de Setembro às 3:00pm.

Bilhetes: $25 / estudantes e grupos de 6 pessoas ou mais: $20.
Compra de bilhetes: www.twptown.org ou por telefone 866.789.TENN.
Para obter mais informações sobre viagens de grupos a Provincetown: Email groups@twptown.org

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Dupla Revelação: Passado e Presente terá lugar entre 22 – 25 Setembro 2011 com performances de artistas nacionais e internacionais. Para a programação completa do festival, horários, bem como discontos oferecidos pelos parceiros para estadia e alimentação, por favor consulte: www.twptown.org

Travel to Provincetown (7-6-11)

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July 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7326

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Provincetown in September

Why Do Visitors From 30 States and Three Continents Come to
the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival in September?

 

#3 - Fall is spectacular in Provincetown.

The crowds are gone, the weather’s lovely, the light is entrancing for strolling the harbor, dunes, shops, and galleries in this picturesque artistic village.

 

#2 - Prices go down.

Post-Labor Day discounts are offered by Inns, Hotels, and great Restaurants in the Fall.

 

#1 - The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Sept 22-25, 2011

This annual international performing arts festival offers a one-of-a-kind celebration of America’s great playwright in an unmatched historic setting.

At the 6th Annual Festival, theater lovers from around the globe will be entertained with world premieres, acclaimed international shows, a Williams masterpiece, a master class and more, as they celebrate the Centennial of Tennessee Williams’ birth with an exciting program of Double Exposure: Past and Present.

Unforgettable performances, parties and festivities will charm festival goers as they discover this historic destination in a variety of venues: historic Town Hall, a local hotel, a beautiful church, a popular nightclub and a tent on the beach all add to the stimulating creative atmosphere.

The Festival’s Lodging and Restaurant Partners offer festivalgoers special deals. From casual spots and economical finds, to ocean-view landmarks and high luxury suites, the Festival’s hospitality partners have it all. Simply mention the Tennessee Williams Festival for a discounted rate. www.twptown.org/where-to-stay

By liking the Festival’s Facebook page, anyone can have a chance to win a free ticket to "Williams Wrote Here" – a tour of the important places for the writer during his four summers in P’town during the 1940s. The tour is led by award-winning actor Jeremy Lawrence, who has played Tennessee Williams in numerous productions and embodies the writer as he shares Tennessee’s own inspiring words.

Click here for a high resolution image from one of the festival’s shows: "Orpheus Descending"

 

 

TICKET INFORMATION

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival takes place Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2011 at various venues in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Festival passes, including access to all shows, are available now online at www.twptown.org or by calling 1-866-789-TENN (8366). A Carte Blanche Pass includes tickets to all performances as well as access to exclusive donor parties, events, and more. Special group packages, student prices, and Flex Passes are also available. For full details on Festival performances and events, visit www.twptown.org.

Provincetown Visitor Services BoardSupported in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund

 

2011 Season Announcement (6-13-11)

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Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.694.7326


DOUBLE EXPOSURE:  PAST AND PRESENT
Bringing Tennessee Williams Into the 21st Century

The Sixth Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
September 22-25, 2011
Tickets and Passes On Sale Now

Festival Presents International Productions, Award-Winning Artists
Featuring a World-Premiere Williams Play, “Once in a Lifetime”


June 13, 2011, Provincetown, MA, USA – In the fall, theater lovers from around the globe converge on Provincetown to celebrate 100 years of America’s great playwright.  Innovative productions of plays, short stories, comedy, dance and music give testimony that Williams’ timeless words are alive today and moving into the future through the creative spirit of contemporary artists.

The international festival provides a multi-layered, inspirational experience through a prism of performances, parties and festivities in the town where Tennessee Williams worked on some of his masterpieces.

In Provincetown, each play – whether moving, shocking, edifying or amusing – can be seen through a new lens.  In addition to the traditional theater, the Historic Town Hall, a hotel, a church, a nightclub and a tent on the beach all become players that add to the stimulating creative atmosphere. 

This year’s Centennial theme of DOUBLE EXPOSURE: PAST AND PRESENT is inspired by memory and imagination. Autobiographical and avant-garde works are placed in unusual settings, and contemporary visions of Williams’ classics are at the forefront of this season’s programming. Like a kaleidoscope, this rich collection of performances refract and reflect upon each other to create a new way of seeing. 

NOTABLE PARTICIPANTS include the John Waters film sensation Mink Stole, the Ridiculous Theatrical Company’s Everett Quinton, Obie Award-winning director Lee Breuer (Mabou Mines), Tony-nominated actor (As Is, Burn This) Lou Liberatore. Productions come from Lisbon, London, Albuquerque, Provincetown and New York.

 

2011 PROGRAM

Two of Williams’ most autobiographical plays are at the thematic heart of the Festival: 

 

  • THE PARADE and SOMETHING CLOUDY, SOMETHING CLEAR   Seeing these two connected plays in the town where the events actually happened provides a rare opportunity for a truly meaningful double-exposure. The Parade, Or Approaching the End of a Summer was written in 1940 when Williams was an unknown writer of 29 summering in Provincetown.  Here he experienced his first and all-consuming love for a young dancer, whom he inevitably lost. He wrote this one-act play then. It is directed by Grant Kretchik. In the play Something Cloudy, Something Clear, written shortly before he died, Williams returned to explore the meaning of that deeply felt experience. Set in 1940 and 1980, then and now exist at one time in a shimmering mirage of memory, loss, and love. It is directed by Cosmin Chivu and stars Tony-nominated actor Lou Liberatore.


“This year we want to bring Williams into the 21st Century,” said Festival Curator David Kaplan, the editor of the Williams centennial anthology, Tenn at One Hundred.  “So we are thrilled to present a Master Class with the visionary director Lee Breuer, who will demonstrate his revelatory ideas about Tennessee Williams’ work from a contemporary point of view.”

 

  • GLASS GUIGNOL – A Master Class with Lee Breuer    This year, Breuer became the director of the first play written by an American at the Comédie Française – a great honor given to Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire.  Breuer’s unconventional production, a fantasia of Japanese culture and jazz, was given high praise, sold out performances, and standing ovations. Breuer, co-founder of the New York experimental collective theater Mabou Mines has directed 11 Obie award-winning productions.  Joined by Obie-winning Mabou Mines ensemble actors, Breuer will demonstrate how his kaleidoscopic vision would interpret a Williams’ play being shown at this year’s festival, The Two Character Play - while incorporating elements of The Glass Menagerie.

 

Festival Director Jef Hall-Flavin says, “We’re making history in Provincetown. This year we’re thrilled to present our ninth world premiere production of a never-before-seen Williams play. And our two trans-Atlantic imports are also premieres,” referring to the world premiere of a Portuguese dance/theater piece and the North American debut of a Two-Character Play from London. “No one is doing quite what we do in Provincetown, and we’re proud to be getting world-wide recognition.”

 

  • THE TWO-CHARACTER PLAY – Critically Acclaimed Production From London's Jermyn Street Theatre, directed by Gene David Kirk; staring Paul McEwan & Catherine Cusack   “An unexpectedly marvelous, multi-faceted evening.” (London Daily Telegraph) In this beautifully crafted U.K. production, brother and sister find themselves in a decrepit theater, compelled to act out a play about a brother and sister. An autobiographical refraction, illusion within illusion, where the artifice of past haunts the reality of present.

 

  • ALMA – A  North American Premiere from LisbonThis dance-theater piece is conceived by Pedro Vieira and Inês Tarouca, from Carbono Theater Company in Lisbon. A talented troupe of Portuguese actors has devised an exciting movement-based performance inspired by Tennessee Williams’ favorite character: Alma Winemiller from Summer and Smoke. With text and songs in Portuguese and English, it focuses on her unfulfilled longing for the love of her life.

 

  • ONCE IN A LIFETIME  - A Multiple Exposure. Four Plays performed in a hotel, featuring the World Premiere of Once In A Lifetime.  In this up-close and personal environmental theater experience, audiences will take a ‘once in a lifetime’ journey through hotel rooms to witness one-act dramas that Williams’ set in hotel rooms. The plays that extend from the beginning to the end of Williams’ career include:
    •  
      • Once In A Lifetime, an unpublished, never-before-seen Williams’ play in which two conservative Midwestern families on a summer road trip to New Mexico stop at a hotel.  Staged by Albuquerque’s Fusion Theatre, directed by Dennis Gromelski.
      •  Green Eyes, an erotic thriller directed by Jef Hall-Flavin, with Jaimi Paige, who originated the role in the 2008 world premiere Provincetown production about a young couple on their honeymoon in the French Quarter
      • Sunburst, an elegant one-act directed by Patrick Falco, with Beverly Bentley and Brian Patacca reprising their roles from the original 2007 production about a semi-retired Broadway actress, a victim of a jewel heist in a midtown hotel.
      • The Traveling Companion, directed by Festival curator David Kaplan. Jeremy Lawrence and Zachary Clause have performed this play throughout America and in Dublin, Ireland.  A celebrated older author checks into Manhattan’s swanky Essex House with a young man who didn’t quite understand what was expected of him on this trip.

 

John Waters and Charles Ludlam broke new ground in film and theater, creating dozens of transgressive, anti-mainstream cult classics. Two acolytes of these boundary-breaking artists will appear at this year’s Festival: Mink Stole (13 John Waters films, including Hairspray, Serial Mom), and Everett Quinton (The Mystery of Irma Vep and many others at the Ridiculous Theatrical Company).

“It’s easy to forget that Tennessee Williams broke boundaries,” says Hall-Flavin, “But he wrote of human experience the way he saw it, so of course he was transgressive – both in style and subject.” 

 

  • AND NOW THE CATS WITH JEWELLED CLAWS  An Absurd Comedy with Music – Starring Mink Stole and Everett Quinton. A cocktail-laden lunch with Madge and Bea turns inexplicably into a song-and-dance number. Complete with hustlers, motorcycles, and genteel ladies exploring the absurd art of seduction, this is Tennessee Williams at his experimental best. Produced in association with LaMaMa ETC.

 

  • DIRTY SHORTS – Two Bawdy Short Stories Read by Celebrity Guests (to be announced).  Two short stories of forbidden desires written by Tennessee Williams late in life celebrate sexual fulfillment as political expression: The scandalous “Miss Coynte of Greene” tells the tale of a Mississippi Delta spinster crossing the color line. She’s paired with the story of “The Killer Chicken and the Closet Queen” in which a staid Wall Street lawyer meets his match in a teen-aged boy fresh from the Ozarks. 

 

  • SOUTH PATHETIC  A One-Man Comedy Written & Performed by Jim David.  Well-known actor/comedian Jim David plays himself as a guest director and a cast of characters in the worst community theater in the South’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire.   Most recently a hit at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, it was called “…hilarious, insightful and finally, quite moving” by the Miami Herald.

 

Rounding out the program is a full production of a Tennessee Williams masterpiece. First begun as Battle of Angels in 1939 (which is the unnamed play he is writing in Something Cloudy, Something Clear), Williams took 17 years to pen Orpheus Descending.

 

  • ORPHEUS DESCENDING – Back By Popular Demand. Last year’s sold-out success returns to Provincetown. Staged as a morality play in a local church, this Williams classic traces a boy-singer's descent into hell in the form of a small-town variety store. Irene Glezos, Thomas Beaudoin and Beth Bartley return with their heart-wrenching performances. Directed by Nick Potenzieri  (The Infinite Theatre, New York).

 

TICKET INFORMATION


The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival takes place Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2011 at various venues in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Festival passes, including access to all shows, are available now online at www.twptown.org or by calling 1-866-789-TENN (8366).  A Carte Blanche Pass includes tickets to all performances as well as access to exclusive donor parties, events, and more.  Special group packages, student prices, and Flex Passes are also available. For full details on Festival performances and events, visit www.twptown.org.

                                  
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2011 Centennial Program Announcement (10-28-10)

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High Resolution Photos

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Rory Marcus
RoryMarcusPR@aol.com
508.760.2039  

Double Exposure: Past and Present Celebrates a Century of Tennessee Williams
Nationwide Series of Productions Culminates with Festival Which Runs September 22-25, 2011

New York, NY – October 28, 2010 – On the heels of its highly successful fifth season, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival announces the theme for its sixth season: “Double Exposure – Past and Present,” a reference to a quote from Something Cloudy, Something Clear, Williams’ last major work and one of the plays in next year’s lineup. March 2011 marks the centennial of Williams’ birth, and the festival will celebrate this century-old theatrical and literary icon with a nationwide series of productions, launching in January in Washington, DC, and culminating with the highly lauded and wildly popular festival, held in Provincetown, MA, the final weekend of September 2011. The yearlong celebration honors Williams’ legacy, while simultaneously reveling in his timeliness.

The centennial year kicks off in Washington, DC, at the historic Ford’s Theatre, with a tribute to Tennessee Williams on January 31, 2011. “America’s Great Playwright at 100” will feature stage, screen and political luminaries performing the words of Williams in a once-in-a-lifetime event on America’s most famous stage.

The celebration continues in New York City on February 7th, as the Festival co-hosts – along with Williams’ publisher, New Directions – a star-filled Birthday Celebration. Theater luminaries Zoe Caldwell, Tony Kushner, Marian Seldes, Olympia Dukakis, Eli Wallach, John Guare and many others will read scenes from plays and letters in an unforgettable and remarkable evening.

In time for Valentine’s Day, the festival launches its nationwide tour of Hotel Williams in New Orleans, LA. This signature collection of short plays, written by Williams, is set in hotel rooms in cities where he lived and visited. The performances of these pieces will take place in actual hotel rooms, transforming audience members from mere spectators to witnesses – not only to the action of the plays, but to the power of Williams’ words. As spectators move from room to room, they voyage from the French Quarter of New Orleans, to upper-crust Manhattan, to a Midwest factory town, to a senior citizen’s residence in Miami and finally to a bordello on St. Louis. Performances are planned for New Orleans; Columbus, MS; Sewanee, TN; Albuquerque, NM; Ann Arbor, MI; Chicago; and finally to the festival in Provincetown, in late September.

Along side the Hotel Williams series, the festival in Provincetown will also offer productions of:

• Something Cloudy, Something Clear – Williams’ memory play, written two years before his death about his life-changing 1940 summer in Provincetown
• The Parade – a lyrical romance, written during that same summer in Provincetown in 1940
• Now the Cats with Jeweled Claws – Williams’ dance and musical phantasmagoria, set in a Times Square diner in NYC
• Neo-Benshi “Streetcar” – Roxanne Power Hamilton’s powerful reinterpretation of images from the iconic film, A Streetcar Named Desire

The sixth annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival will take place Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2011 at various venues in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Festival passes, including access to all shows, will be available online at www.twptown.org or through 1-866-789-TENN (8366) beginning May 1, 2011.  Audience members can also become patrons by purchasing a Carte Blanche, which includes tickets to all performances as well as access to exclusive parties, events, and more.  Single tickets will go on sale in July, 2011. 

For more information, including new details on Festival performances and events as they become available, visit www.twptown.org.

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Dana Ivey and Robert Bogue (9-20-10)

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For Immediate Release
Contact:  Rory Marcus
RoryMarcusPR@aol.com
508.760.2039  

Actors Dana Ivey and Robert Bogue To Star in “Suddenly, Last Summer” At Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

One Time Only Performance -Sunday, September 26, 2010, 6pm

Festival Tickets On Sale Now

 

(Provincetown, MA,) TW Festival Curator David Kaplan announced today that award-winning stage and screen actor Dana Ivey will star in the classic Tennessee Williams’ role of Mrs. Venable in a staged reading of “Suddenly, Last Summer” at this year’s TW Festival.  Robert Bogue, well-known for his regular role as A. C. Mallet on “Guiding Light,” will play Dr. ‘Sugar.’ 

“TW Fest audiences can look forward to some heat from these wonderful actors,” Kaplan said.  “It’s an exciting idea:  Dana Ivey’s fierce intelligence fueling Mrs. Venable’s cunning and Robert Bogue’s charm and wit as ‘Dr. Sugar,’ who Mrs. Venable mistakes for sweet.  Should he cut out part of a young girl’s brain?  What a thing for the two of them to spar about!”

This popular Williams one-act play unfolds as a crime story told by a traumatized young woman.  A young doctor, tempted by a rich woman who might fund his research, must decide with whom to side.  Jodie Markell, the director of the recently released film written by Williams: “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” will direct a staged reading of the play in a one time only performance on September 26. 

Dana Ivey

I am looking forward to discovering a town where Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams worked and where much iconic American theatre was created. –Dana Ivey

Dana Ivey is familiar to film audiences through her many supporting roles in such high-profile films as The Color Purple, Sleepless in Seattle, and Legally Blonde 2, and very well-known to theater audiences through her many highly acclaimed and award-winning performances. 

A Georgia native, Ivey made her Broadway debut in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter. Her outstanding performance in Driving Miss Daisy (as the title character) earned her an Obie and an Outer Critics Circle Award.   Dana Ivey has received five Tony Award nominations: for Butley, Heartbreak House, Sunday in the Park with George, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and The Rivals. She also won an Obie for Quartermaine’s Terms and Drama Desk Awards for her work in Ballyhoo and Sex and Longing.  

Ivey has brilliantly realized the roles of formidable mothers before, including Tennessee Williams’ Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie at Williamstown, Big Mama in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof at Kennedy Center, and Mrs. Warren in Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

Robert Bogue

Having the opportunity to call myself an actor has been good.  Making a living as a TV actor is great. Having the opportunity to speak the hypnotic poetry of Tennessee Williams is...priceless. -Robert Bogue

Raised in Kansas and Kentucky, Robert Bogue graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College with a degree in International Political Economics but chose to pursue a career in theater. He started acting in New York as an original founding member of the New Group Theater Company.  Recently, he played the role of A. C. Mallet on “Guiding Light” from 2007 until the soap ended in 2009. 

On stage, Bogue has appeared on Broadway in "Three Sisters" and in the Olivier Award winning production of "Burning Blue" in London's West End. Bogue has made several television appearances on hit series including the recurring role of prisoner Jason Cramer on "Oz." He was in the independent films "Frost" and "The Dissection of Thanksgiving." Bogue also co-wrote, co-produced and appeared in the feature film "Backseat," which received the Audience Award at the 2005 Austin Film Festival.  He can be seen in the movie “The Good Guy” in theaters now.

Jodie Markell

I was cast as Laura Wingfield in a high school production of The Glass Menagerie. From that moment on, I was hooked! I read everything I could find by Tennessee Williams by the time I was 17. As a teenager with artistic tendencies, who felt a bit different, I felt a real affinity for Williams' sensitive characters as they searched for something authentic in a harsh world. – Jodie Markell

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, filmmaker and actress Jodie Markell has been discovering and rediscovering Tennessee Williams for a long time.  She studied theater from an early age and moved to New York to study at Circle-in-the-Square Theater.  She helped rediscover the Tennessee Williams' play Confessional, and produced it as a New York premiere. As an actress, she received the OBIE award for Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, and as a filmmaker she received the Lumiere Award and the Moviemaker Magazine Breakthrough Award for her short film “Why I Live at the P.O.,” based on Eudora Welty's classic story. 

Markell helped rediscover a never before produced Tennessee Williams’ film script and made her feature film directing debut with “Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” in 2009. The LA Times praised it as a “A film to savor. Rich in ways that are all too rare these days.”

 

Tickets for this staged reading are $32.50 for general seating; $47.50 for preferred seating.

Tickets for this and all Tennessee Williams Theater Festival productions Thursday September 23 – Sunday, September 26 are available online at www.twptown.org.

 

About this year’s Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:

For UNDER THE INFLUENCE artists from Los Angeles to New York and Chicago to Florida will converge on Provincetown in performance of well-known works by Tennessee Williams, complemented by work that inspired him and work that he inspired in today’s artists.  In addition to Suddenly, Last Summer, some highlights of performances of plays, dance, music, and art, throughout the seaside village that inspired the writer during his early years are:    

  • “Orpheus Descending” by Tennessee Williams, and a companion gallery exhibition of artists in Orpheus in the Galleries
  • The World Premiere of Williams never seen short play, “American Gothic.”
  • “Diff’rent” by Eugene O’Neill, which Williams saw as a young man in Provincetown.
  • “The Jazz Funeral of Stella Brooks,” inspired by Williams’ friendship with the jazz singer known as “the white Billie Holiday.”

For the full program of performances and events, see www.twptown.org/.

Attached are photos of Dana Ivey, Robert Bogue, Jodie Markell

William Jay Smith Announcement (8-9-10)

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August 9, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Rory Marcus
RoryMarcusPR@aol.com
508.760.2039


Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival Presents
Coffee with William Jay Smith, Former U.S. Poet Laureate
A Conversation About His Friend, the Unknown Tennessee Williams
September 26, 2010, 11 am

(Provincetown, MA – Aug 9, 2010) The Tennessee Williams Theater Festival will offer audiences a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear personal stories about Tennessee Williams from an award-winning poet who shared friendship and a love of poetry with Williams during their college days, back when they still called him Tom.

William Jay Smith’s book, “My Friend Tom – The Poet-Playwright Tennessee Williams” will be published by the University of Mississippi Press in 2011, but this September at the TW Festival Smith will share his personal insights into Williams’ character, talent, friendships and influences, including that of his indomitable mother, -- the woman who inspired the famous character Amanda Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie.”

TW Festival Curator David Kaplan says that the theme of this year’s festival – UNDER THE INFLUENCE – has special significance for Smith who was close to the playwright in St. Louis from 1935 to 1940, when, completely unknown, Williams produced his first full-length plays. Smith says, “I was aware of the people, past and present, who influenced him at the time.  It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to bear witness to the powerful influence that my friend Tom (Tennessee) with his enduring work, now has throughout the world.”

William Jay Smith was born in 1918 in Winnfield, Louisiana.  Like Williams, he was a displaced Southerner who moved to St. Louis as a child and he studied at Washington University in St. Louis with Williams.  His full and interesting life is reflected in his prolific writings of more than 50 books of poetry, children’s verses, translations, criticism, and memoirs. 
 
Smith’s poems have been published and reviewed in American and worldwide journals since he was a young man.  Noted for his translations, he has won awards from the French Academy, the Swedish Academy, and the Hungarian government.  He was honored with the Louisiana Writers Award, a recognition for lifetime achievement from the area that influenced him during his formative years.

Son of an army band member, he grew up in the barracks he remembers so vividly in his memoir, “Army Brat.”  He became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, lived in France and Italy, and became a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now known as the U. S. Poet Laureate) from 1968 until 1970.  Of Choctaw descent, Smith also wrote what some consider a masterpiece, “The Cherokee Lottery,” the history of the Trail of Tears.

Smith, who splits his time between Cummington, MA and France, says the key to his vitality at the age of 92 is his devotion to his writing.  “It makes me feel alive to write.  It’s important to exercise the brain as well as the body.”

New Directions Editor Thomas Keith will lead the discussion at Coffee With William Jay Smith at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.  Smith recently wrote the introduction for the New Directions publication of “Candles to the Sun.”  

Tickets to this TW Fest event are open to holders of the Williams Pass and Sustaining Donors.  For information, see www.twptown.org/

About this year’s Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival:
For UNDER THE INFLUENCE artists from Los Angeles to New York and Chicago to Florida will converge on Provincetown in performance of well-known works by Tennessee Williams, complemented by work that inspired him and work that he inspired in today’s artists.  Some highlights of performances of plays, dance, music, and art, throughout the seaside village that inspired the writer during his early years are:    

“Orpheus Descending” by Tennessee Williams, and a companion gallery exhibition of artists in Orpheus in the Galleries
The World Premiere of Williams never seen short play, “American Gothic.”
“Diff’rent” by Eugene O’Neill, which Williams saw as a young man in Provincetown.
“The Jazz Funeral of Stella Brooks,” inspired by Williams’ friendship with the jazz singer known as “the white Billie Holiday.”
For the full program of performances and events, see www.twptown.org/.

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"Sons of Tennessee Williams" Film Premiere Benefit (6-15-10)

For Immediate Release
Contact:  RoryMarcusPR@aol.com 508/760-2039

East Coast Film Premiere of “THE SONS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS”
How Mardi Gras Drag Paved the Way for a New Era of Gay Rights
A Benefit for the 5th Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
With Special Guests:
Andrew Sullivan: Gay Rights Advocate and Senior Editor & “Daily Dish” blogger for The Atlantic
Varla Jean Merman: Award-winning Drag Performer Jeffery Roberson, native of New Orleans
Sunday, July 18, 2010 at The Crown and Anchor, Provincetown, MA

The birth of the gay rights movement is often credited to the Stonewall riot in New York City in 1969, but back in 1962 the gay men of New Orleans stood up for their rights to gather in public without the threat of arrest when they staged a flamboyant costumed ‘drag ball’ for Mardi Gras. They were chased and attacked by police, but eventually won their freedoms.

By 1969, society matrons begged for ball tickets and New Orleans was the first place in America where gay and straight people came together to publicly recognize openly gay culture.

The feature documentary The Sons of Tennessee Williams, written and directed by Tim Wolff, tells the story of the ‘southern bachelor gentlemen’ who created a fantastic culture of “drag balls” to defy laws restricting public assembly, same-sex dancing and cross-dressing.   Interweaving archival footage of men strutting in sequins and feathers with contemporary interviews of the original founders and participants, The Sons of Tennessee Williams charts the evolution of gay politics in the Mardi Gras social clubs (krewes).  

Benefit attendees will be able to talk with filmmaker Tim Wolff. Wolff says he named the film The Sons of Tennessee Williams as a twist on The Daughters of the American Revolution because he considers Williams a hero.  As a well-known resident of New Orleans, Williams was an inspiration, “the most famous out American at the time, telling the story of gay men to a much larger audience.”    Also honoring the benefit with his presence will be the reigning King of Armeinius and former Queen Armeinius the 6th (1974), Albert Carey.  Carey, one of the ‘stars’ of the film, is a witness to the struggle to be openly gay in the South.     

David Kaplan, co-founder and curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, chose  this film for the annual Festival benefit to underscore this year’s theme, UNDER THE INFLUENCE.  From Sept 23 – 27, 2010, Provincetown, MA will become a stage for performances of Williams’ work, complemented by the work of others that influenced him and contemporary artists he has inspired. “When a young adventurous filmmaker like Tim Wolff falls under the influence of Tennessee Williams, there’s hope for the future.  The Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown celebrates history by making history of our own:  this year we present our eighth world premiere of a Williams’ play and the east coast premiere of this moving, witty film.”

Event Details: 
Sunday July 18, 2010
6:00 pm Cocktail Social; 7:00 pm Screening
The Paramount at the Crown and Anchor, Provincetown, MA
$50 Premium Table Seating (includes 1 drink ticket and reserved table seating up front); $20 General Seating
Tickets on sale online at www.twptown.org, by phone at 866.789.TENN (8366), AND in person at The Crown and Anchor box office, 247 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA.

2010 Season Announcement (6-10-10)

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June, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Rory Marcus
RoryMarcusPR@aol.com
508.760.2039


Creative Fires Burn at UNDER THE INFLUENCE 
The Fifth Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Runs September 23-26, 2010 - with World Premiere and Productions from Across America
Special Discount Tickets On Sale Now

For me, personally, to hear the words of Tennessee Williams said aloud is to be in the presence of magic.
Listening to his words we share his visions, traveling, as Orpheus did, on a path to the underworld and back. Under the influence of Williams and today's inspired artists, festival-goers will have a chance to travel their own paths to new visions.        -David Kaplan, TW Festival Co-founder & Curator

(Provincetown, MA, June  2010) – For UNDER THE INFLUENCE artists from Los Angeles to New York and Chicago to Florida will converge on Provincetown to celebrate the enduring influence of America’s great playwright in performances of plays, dance, music, art, and special events throughout the seaside village that inspired the writer during his early years.   

In this year’s innovative program, performers will offer audiences a triple dose of inspiration in compelling performances that interweave:
• well-known and unknown plays by Tennessee Williams, including a World Premiere
• influences of music, films, theater, poetry and painting that ignited Williams’ imagination
• new plays, dance, and visual art created by today’s artists, sparked by the inspiration of Williams’ life and work.
 
Highlights include:

From the inspired imagination of Tennessee Williams:

• The World Premiere of “American Gothic” – Taking off on icons of the 1930’s, Williams imagines the famous couple in the Grant Wood painting as the stern Mid-western parents of Bonnie and Clyde-style gangsters.  This never before seen play now joins the seven previous Festival premieres that have entered the repertory at other theaters across America and around the world. It will be produced by Boston’s Beau Jest Moving Theatre,  that brought us last year’s acclaimed world premiere of “The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde.”

• “Orpheus Descending” – A boy-singer's descent into a hell of a variety store, staged as a morality play inside a Provincetown church.  This play began as ‘Battle of Angels,’ an early Williams’ play whose failed production affected him deeply.   He continued to work on it for seventeen years because he said, “…nothing is more precious to anybody than the emotional record of his youth…” A 1957 production suffered from hostile critics who belittled its lyric speech as melodrama.   This Festival production from New York City's Infinite Theatre directed by Nick Potenzieri emphasizes the qualities that Williams intended to soar.

• “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” – This Southern Gothic comedy recombines some themes from Orpheus Descending – sexual liberation, innocence and corruption – with whip-cracking humor.  Set on a sweat drenched porch in the Mississippi Delta, and staged on the porch of an historic sea captain’s home, the production, directed by Jeff Glickman, comes from Big Finish Productions of Pensacola, Florida.  This famous one act was controversial for its erotic wit.  The movie based on it, “Baby Doll” created a scandal.

• “Escape” – Two plays, two different Escapes: One of them an event overheard in “Orpheus Descending,” when the sounds of a jailbreak interrupt a chain-gang’s nightly card game, directed by Rick Corley who staged the Russian premiere of Williams’ “Small Craft Warnings” in Moscow.    In the other, a teenage boy swims to his death rather than return to the life his domineering mother has planned for him, directed by Festival favorite Kate Mendeloff of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Contemporary choreographer Paula Frasz has been inspired by these texts to create dances that her DanszLoop Chicago Ensemble will perform with the plays. 

• “Suddenly, Last Summer” – This Williams one-act play is in the form of a crime story told by a traumatized young girl.  A handsome doctor, tempted by a rich woman who might fund his research, must decide whom to side with: the witness or her hostile listeners. To create the offstage poet-hero of the story Williams combined images of Orpheus in hell along with Hart Crane and his domineering mother. A reading of the text will be staged by Jodie Markell, the director of the recently released film written by Williams: “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond.”

Works that influenced Tennessee Williams:

• “Diff'rent” by Eugene O'Neill – Surprisingly, Tennessee Williams went to the theater in Provincetown only once. That was in the summer of 1940, when local actors performed, “Diff’rent,” O'Neill's full-length play about a woman’s sexual repression and its consequences. Exploring the connection between Williams and O’Neill, whose legacy as father of American theater can be traced to the heart of Provincetown, this production comes to us from the Provincetown Theater Company, directed by Festival Director Jef Hall-Flavin.  In keeping with the original Provincetown Players, it will take place overlooking Provincetown Harbor and will star “Cape Cod’s answer to Meryl Streep,” McNeely Myers. 

• Laughing In the Dark with Tennessee -- In Tennessee Williams’ life and art, film going was a seminal experience. Williams savored an evolving range of popular entertainment from the Mary Pickford silent films to the Paul Morrissey/Warhol films – all of which influenced his evolving aesthetic. A selection of film clips will be screened, with host John DiLeo, author of the new book Tennessee Williams & Company, his essential screen actors. .

Works inspired by the life and art of Tennessee Williams:

• “Bent to the Flame” – The work of poet Hart Crane exerted a strong influence on Williams throughout his life.   Doug Tompos brings his acclaimed one-person show from Los Angeles, in which he presents a young Tennessee Williams besotted by the poet Hart Crane. This riveting solo play explores the volatile nature of creativity and the intensely personal relationship between these two great American artists.

• “The Jazz Funeral of Stella Brooks” – Songstress Stella Brooks,  “The white Billie Holiday,” was the hit of the 1947 Provincetown summer season, and a personal friend of Williams. This play imagines a New Orleans-style funeral in her honor beginning in a storefront church with live music, testifying mourners, and an umbrella-wielding second-line dancing down Commercial Street. Written by Chicago's Terry Abrahamson, directed by Priscilla Simple, produced by CTEK Arts, this piece continues the Festival’s unrivaled string of innovative and unique theatrical presentations.

• Orpheus in the Galleries – This special visual arts event offers a path through three Provincetown Galleries to see the work of six artists related to the myth of the poet Orpheus who journeyed to the underworld.  Paintings, sculpture, video and other media by artists Varujun Baghosian, Sky Power, Jay Critchley, Jim Peters, Kathline Carr, and John Choly will be installed at The Berta Walker Gallery, DNA and Artstrand.  

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival takes place Thursday, September 23 through Sunday, September 26, 2010 at various venues in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Festival passes, including access to all shows, are available now online at www.twptown.org or through 1-866-789-TENN (8366).  Audience members can also become patrons by purchasing a Williams Pass, which includes tickets to all performances as well as access to exclusive parties and events, and more.  Single tickets will go on sale in August.  For full details on Festival performances and events, visit www.twptown.org.                                           

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Media Contact

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact:

Hunter Styles
cell: (202) 306-5429
hunter@twptown.org

 

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