SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

Jeremy Lawrence as Tennessee Williams in TENN at TOWN HALL, 2015. Photo by Josh Andrus

2019 Press Releases

Yuhua Hamasaki and James Yaegashi Star in The Black Lizard (9-5-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

 

Yuhua Hamasaki and James Yaegashi
Star in Yukio Mishima's


THE BLACK LIZARD

Sunday September 29 | Town Hall

Part of the 14th annual
Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
September 26 - 29, 2019

 

September 5, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is excited to announce that New York City-based drag performer Yuhua Hamasaki (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and actor James Yaegashi (Marvel’s Runaways) will star in the Festival’s one-time-only staged reading of Yukio Mishima’s camp classic The Black Lizard at Provincetown Town Hall (260 Commercial Street) on September 29.

Hamasaki wowed audiences on the tenth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, and New York magazine named her one of the top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America in June. Yaegashi has appeared on acclaimed television shows including Madam Secretary, Daredevil, and Runaways.

On Festival Sunday, Hamasaki and Yaegashi become arch enemies in Yukio Mishima’s over-the-top criminal caper The Black Lizard. Hamasaki steps into the heels of the sinister lady crime boss Black Lizard — a glamorous jewel thief who has snatched a rich jeweler’s daughter in hopes the jeweler will exchange her for his prized Star of Egypt diamond. Yaegashi plays the handsome detective Akechi, Black Lizard’s worthy opponent.

In her P’town debut, Hamasaki will also perform her cabaret solo show Yuhua Comes to Town! in which she sings, dances, and – no surprise – lip syncs, decked out in the eye-filling iconic costumes she designs herself at the Crown and Anchor (247 Commercial Street) on Festival Friday.

Tickets to The Black Lizard are $45 each, and tickets to Yuhua Comes to Town! are $25 each. All Festival Passes and tickets are available for sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.

 

About The Black Lizard

Mishima’s outrageous camp classic is the mid-morning climax of the Festival’s 14th season. The Black Lizard will be staged at Town Hall with a wide range of Festival artists, directed by Jesse Jou, produced by the Festival in association with Texas Tech University.

Set in giddy, groovy 1960’s Japan, Black Lizard’s action spins from a ritzy hotel room to a millionaire’s kitchen, up to the observation platform of Tokyo Tower, and down onto Black Lizard’s private yacht and the dungeons of her secret island. Black Lizard (played by Yuhua Hamasaki), as strong-willed as she is well-dressed, decides she’d like to keep, for her own pleasure, the ransomed diamond and the body of a kidnapped heiress.

Black Lizard’s worthy opponent, Kogoro Akechi (played by James Yaegashi), the Sherlock Holmes of Japan, first appeared in 1925 in a story by Edogawa Ranpo, Japan’s premier mystery writer. Akechi is still a fixture in Japanese popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, video games, anime and manga.

Mishima’s outrageous stage version of Black Lizard was a sensation on the Japanese equivalent of Broadway in 1962. For the 1968 film version of the play, starring cross-dressing male actor Akihiro Miwa as the lovesick lady crime boss, Mishima played one of Black Lizard’s sex slaves. 

Translated by Mark Oshima, the Festival’s ensemble staged reading follows 2018’s Harvey Award-nominated Festival adaptation of The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell.

 

About the Artists

Yuhua Hamasaki was born in Guangzhou, China as Yuhua Ou. She moved to New York when she was seven. There, she did drag on the club kid scene under the name Yuhua, and later added “Hamasaki” to her stage name after Japanese pop star girl-singer Ayumi Hamasaki. She was recently crowned Miss Asia NYC, and has appeared on Big Ang on VH1, The Carrie Diaries on The CW, Blue Bloods on CBS, and with Katy Perry on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Hamasaki is also a costume designer, and has created outfits for many drag performers, including previous contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race.

James Yaegashi was born in Yokohama, Japan. He now works as an actor, director, and writer in Brooklyn, where he has translated contemporary Japanese plays and subtitled major Japanese studio films. Yaegashi is a season regular on Marvel’s The Runaways on Hulu. On and off-Broadway credits include Richard Greenberg’s Take Me OutA Naked Girl on the Appian Way, John Guare’s A Few Stout Individuals, Julia Cho’s Durango, and Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy. He has appeared in world-premiere stage adaptations of literary classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Singapore Arts Festival.

 

About the 2019 Festival Season

This year's festival will present the work of Tennessee Williams alongside plays by Yukio Mishima, perhaps Japan's most provocative author. The two writers became good friends in the late 1950s, and Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until Mishima’s death in 1970.

The 2019 Festival programming will be presented by artists and scholars from Japan, South Africa, Cyprus, Brazil, Oregon, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. The festival will also feature parties, post-show mixers, workshops, educational classes, late-night ‘lagniappes,’ Williams 101 discussions, and exclusive donor events throughout the four-day celebration.

This year’s shows include two world premieres: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers by Williams (directed by Natsu Onoda Power in the kami-shibai style using illustrations) and the short farce Busu by Mishima, directed and performed by choreographer Daniel Irizarry.

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater. Directed by Fred Abrahamse, the production will feature South African stage star Marcel Meyer, along with Gail Phaneuf, and Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The festival will also present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse, staged by director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Laurence Kominz.

In addition to The Black Lizard and Yuhua Comes to Town!, the lineup also includes productions of And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens… by Williams, The Lady Aoi by Mishima, and an adaptation from Cyprus of The Angel in the Alcove by Williams.

The Festival is also pleased to announce its new Workshop Series, featuring four hands-on performance classes passing on the craft of Japanese theater, led by renowned artists. Held from Friday September 27 at noon through Sunday afternoon September 29, the workshops will focus on Japanese performance techniques employed by Williams and Mishima in their plays. The workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), Kabuki (popular theater), Kyôgen (traditional farce), and kami-shibai (storytelling with drawings). The workshops are led, respectively, by professional artists Elizabeth Dowd, Mark Oshima, Laurence Kominz, and Natsu Onoda Power.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, throughout the seaside village, theater artists from around the globe celebrate Williams’ enduring influence with performances of classic texts and innovative productions. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Master Class with Kathleen Turner Announced for September (8-12-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)
> Read this story on Facebook

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

 

Golden Globe Winner
and tony and academy award nominee


KATHLEEN TURNER


Returns to provincetown for an exclusive master class

Town Hall | Saturday, September 28

Part of the 14th annual
Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
September 26 - 29, 2019

 

August 12, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) General public tickets are now on sale for a one-day-only Master Class exploring the craft of acting taught by Kathleen Turner, a living legend of the stage and screen.

The event will be presented at Town Hall on Saturday, September 28 from 9am to noon, as part of the 14th annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. It is a rare opportunity to learn from one of America’s great performers of Williams, in a spontaneous collaboration with theater artists from around the country.

Working onstage with a range of local and Festival actors, as well as theater students embarking on a career, Turner will offer a playful and vivid look into her acting and teaching process. As the work unfolds, the discoveries between teacher and student become the audience’s as well.

“It all begins with the words,” Turner wrote in her 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow). “The words that a character uses give you an idea of the energy and the kind of mind that this person possesses.”

Tickets to the Kathleen Turner Master Class are $25 each. All Festival Passes and tickets — including access to the Festival’s new Workshop Series of four hands-on Japanese performance classes led by renowned artists — are available for sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.

 

About Kathleen Turner

A Broadway veteran, bona fide film star, and accomplished acting teacher, Kathleen Turner has been nominated twice for the Tony Award, for her performance as Maggie in the 1990 revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Martha in the 2005 revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In June, she was Guest of Honor at the Festival’s annual Performance Gala in Provincetown.

Turner is the co-author of the 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow) as well as the 2008 memoir Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles (a collaboration with Gloria Feldt).

“The roles for mature women onstage are a thousand times better than anything written in film,” Turner told Vulture in August 2018. “The screen roles are usually stereotypes: the evil stepmother, the bitter spinster. Whereas in theater there’s Martha or Mother Courage — I could name many characters I’d love to do. That’s why, knowing where my career could grow as I got less desirable for the camera, I focused on theater.”

In Kathleen Turner on Acting, Turner recalls of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: “Once we got past the battle to allow us to do the original play, the original third act, then that opened up a lot of doors, in terms of exploring humor in the play. I cannot help but look for the humor in everything. I think that it is the best part of life, finding ways to laugh at it.”

Beloved for her roles in classic films like Body HeatThe Man with Two BrainsThe War of the RosesThe Virgin Suicides, and Peggy Sue Got Married – for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress – Turner has always excelled in carving fresh and memorable lines between comedy and drama, from her über-sultry turn as Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit to her gleeful life of suburban crime in John Waters’ Serial Mom.

Twice a winner at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress for her roles in Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor, Turner has been nominated three other times for a Golden Globe, and received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for her performance in Peggy Sue Got Married.

Turner has a storied career on television, including appearances on Friends, Californication, King of the HillLaw & OrderNip/Tuck, and The Simpsons. She has taught acting classes at New York University, serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and Citymeals on Wheels, and is an honorary board member for the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New York City.

Turner has taken two productions from Broadway to London’s West End: Terry Johnson’s The Graduate in 2000 (in the role of Mrs. Robinson) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 2006. In 2014, she starred opposite Ian McDiarmid in Stephen Sachs' Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre in London.

Following her 2011-2012 run in the Broadway production of Matthew Lombardo’s High, Turner has appeared on stage in regional theaters around the country, including as the title character in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. At Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she starred in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children and in Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.

Most recently, Turner has developed her first cabaret performance, Finding My Voice, which debuted in Philadelphia in 2017, and which then ran in London at The Other Palace Theatre and toured the United Kingdom. This February, she performed in the Donizetti opera La Fille du Régiment at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

 

Other Acting Workshops

This year's festival will present the work of Tennessee Williams alongside plays by Yukio Mishima, perhaps Japan's most provocative author. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until Mishima’s death in 1970.

The Festival is also pleased to announce its new Workshop Series, featuring four hands-on performance classes passing on the craft of Japanese theater, led by renowned artists. Held from Friday September 27 at noon through Sunday afternoon September 29, the workshops will focus on Japanese performance techniques employed by Williams and Mishima in their plays.

The workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), Kabuki (popular theater), Kyôgen (traditional farce), and kami-shibai (storytelling with drawings). The workshops are led, respectively, by professional artists Elizabeth Dowd, Mark Oshima, Laurence Kominz, and Natsu Onoda Power.

 

About the 2019 Festival Season

The 2019 Festival programming will be presented by artists and scholars from Japan, South Africa, Cyprus, Brazil, Oregon, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. The festival will also feature parties, post-show mixers, workshops, educational classes, late-night ‘lagniappes,’ Williams 101 discussions, and exclusive donor events throughout the four-day celebration.

This year’s shows include two world premieres: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers by Williams (directed by Natsu Onoda Power in the Kami-shibai style using illustrations, in this production drawn live) and the short farce Busu by Mishima, directed and performed by choreographer Daniel Irizarry.

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater. Directed by Fred Abrahamse, the production will feature South African stage star Marcel Meyer, along with Gail Phaneuf, and Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The festival will also present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse, staged by director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Laurence Kominz.

The lineup also includes productions of And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens by Williams, The Lady Aoi by Mishima, and an adaptation from Cyprus of The Angel in the Alcove by Williams. The festival culminates in a special Sunday-only staged reading of The Black Lizard by Mishima, starring Yuhua Hamasaki, who competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The reading will be directed by Texas Tech University’s Jesse Jou.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, throughout the seaside village, theater artists from around the globe celebrate Williams’ enduring influence with performances of classic texts and innovative productions. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Announcing the 2019 Festival Shows (6-3-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)
> Read this story on Facebook

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

 

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
Announces 2019 Season:


TENNESSEE WILLIAMS & Yukio MISHIMA


September 26-29

Featuring the festival's 13th world premiere of a tennessee williams play
and a mishima world Premiere

With Benny Sato Ambush, Yuhua Hamasaki, Daniel Irizarry, Gail Phaneuf, Marcel Meyer, Mark Oshima, Natsu Onoda Power, and Everett Quinton

And artists from South Africa, Japan, New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Texas, Oregon, Cyprus, and Chatham

 

June 3, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The 14th Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce the details of its full 2019 program in September, titled Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima.

This year's festival will present the work of Williams alongside plays by Mishima, perhaps Japan's most provocative author. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until Mishima’s death in 1970.

The 2019 lineup will be produced and performed by artists from South Africa, Japan, New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Texas, Oregon, Cyprus, Chatham, and beyond. The festival will also feature parties, post-show mixers, workshops, educational classes, Williams 101 discussions, and exclusive donor events throughout the four-day celebration.

All tickets and Festival Passes are now available for sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.

“Williams and Mishima wrote plays in which glamorous illusions hang over realities the way Blanche hung a paper lantern over a bare light bulb in A Streetcar Named Desire,” says Festival curator David Kaplan. “The lantern and the illusions might get ripped down, but in the meantime we get magic — and Williams and Mishima propose that ugliness, evil, and pain are also illusions we might rip down.”

Patrick Falco, president of the Festival’s board of directors, adds: “Our adventurous audience has followed us in past seasons through classics like Streetcar and Hamlet to daring experimental work by Williams and his peers. We look forward to sharing this new adventure with them.”

This year’s shows include two world premieres: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers by Williams (directed by Natsu Onoda Power in the kami-shibai style using illustrations, in this production drawn live) and the short farce Busu by Mishima, directed and performed by choreographer Daniel Irizarry.

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater. Directed by Fred Abrahamse, the production will feature South African stage star Marcel Meyer and Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The festival will also present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse, staged by director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Laurence Kominz.

The lineup also includes productions of And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens by Williams, The Lady Aoi by Mishima, and The Angel in the Alcove by Williams. The festival culminates in a special Sunday-only staged reading of The Black Lizard by Mishima, starring Yuhua Hamasaki, who appeared on last season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. The reading will be directed by Texas Tech University’s Jesse Jou.

The festival will also host a new morning workshop series sharing the craft of Japanese theater arts. Taught by Elizabeth Dowd, Mark Oshima, Natsu Onoda Power, and Laurence Kominz, the workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), kami-shibai (storytelling with drawings), kabuki (popular theater), and kyogen (traditional farce). The new Workshop Pass provides access to these classes, plus tickets to a curated set of performances.

Also new for 2019: patrons from New York can now travel directly to Provincetown for the festival on a round-trip charter bus. Festival passes, including the bus fare add-on, are now on sale at twptown.org.

The artwork for the 2019 festival draws from the psychedelic designs of Tadanori Yokoo, the legendary Japanese graphic designer and illustrator. Born in 1936, Yokoo is one of Japan’s most successful artists of the past century. He has graciously given the festival permission to adapt his graphic work to represent each show.

The program includes:

 

Plays by Tennessee Williams:

 

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
Drama
directed by Fred Abrahamse
featuring Marcel Meyer and Everett Quinton
produced by Abrahamse and Meyer | Cape Town, South Africa

South African and American artists stage Williams' vision of madness, endurance, and grace in a new production inspired by Japan's traditional Noh theater.

The earthy widow Maxine Faulk runs a hotel at the edge of a Mexican cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On a rainy and turbulent night, the hotel becomes a sanctuary for the defrocked Reverend Shannon, terrorized by his loss of faith.

Shannon has rerouted and held hostage a tour group from a West Texas women's college. They're joined on the jungle cliff by a family of grotesque Nazi vacationers, an iguana tied by its throat under the veranda, and a self-described New England spinster whose 97-year-old grandfather is “the world’s oldest living and practicing poet.”

Considered among the finest of plays written by Williams, The Night of the Iguana is staged by director Fred Abrahamse featuring South African stage star Marcel Meyer and the iconic Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

Gail Phaneuf will replace the previously announced Alison Fraser in the role of Maxine. Festival audiences will remember Phaneuf as Leona in the Festival’s 2016 production of Williams’ Small Craft Warnings — a performance which New York Times critic Charles Isherwood described as “supremely funny… a whirlwind of comic energy tinged with pathos: a bit Blanche DuBois [and] a dash of the blowzy Maxine from The Night of the Iguana.”

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions previously produced Hamlet and Sweet Bird of Youth at the Festival in 2017, as well as Desire Under the Elms in 2016, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and The Day on Which a Man Dies in 2015, The Lady Aoi in 2014, and Kingdom of Earth in 2013.

 

THE LADY FROM THE VILLAGE OF FALLING FLOWERS
World Premiere
directed by Natsu Onoda Power
produced by Spooky Action Theatre | Washington, DC

The power of poetry seals two strangers’ fates in this charming one-act romance set by Williams in ancient Japan.

The Festival is proud to present The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers, our 13th world premiere of a Tennessee Williams play. Subtitled “A Japanese fantasy,” The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers has its head in the stars and both feet on the ground. It’s a punchy send-up of love, the perils of first impressions, and our earthly attempts to touch something eternal.

A thousand years ago in Japan, as the moon rises over the imperial garden, the smell of orange trees in bloom sets a young emperor’s restless heart beating. So begins a quest to locate the beauty of the world in one unknown person — and an unexpected transformation of arrogance to humility.

Written, it seems, in the spring of 1935, when Williams was a student at the University of Missouri, there is no record of The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers being submitted for class. It was never published, never performed until now. The manuscript cover page states “The title is suggested by the name of a character in Lady Murasaki's ‘Tale of Genji.’” The source material, written around 1020 in archaic Japanese and popularized in the 1930s by Arthur Waley’s English version, prompted Williams’ imagination to soar: the story of the Lady is Williams’ own, graced with quick-witted humor and a true flirt’s love for dramatic reversal.

Our pop-up production of The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers, directed by Natsu Onoda Power, will play all around town in the Japanese kami-shibai style using illustrations, which in this production will be sketched live by the performers as Williams’ romantic fantasy unfolds.

Natsu Onoda Power is America’s kami-shibai virtuoso adapter/director/designer. Her kami-shibai productions include the critically acclaimed Astro Boy and the God of Comics in Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and in Boston where she won the 2015 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director in Small Theatre. She co-founded Chicago’s Live Action Cartoonists.

 

AND TELL SAD STORIES OF THE DEATHS OF QUEENS…
Tragic Comedy
directed by Lane Savadove
produced by EgoPo Classic Theater | Philadelphia, PA

A New Orleans queen brings a rough sailor into her garden.

Baby-faced Candy Delaney is a resourceful queen who owns property in the French Quarter and runs her own interior decorating business. She’s turned 35, though, and her longtime lover has found a new younger partner. Rarely one to despond, Candy restarts her love life by bringing home a beefy sailor.

Candy’s upstairs neighbors, a pair of younger queens from Alabama, disapprove, but Candy has always made her own way, just as she’s made over her patio into a fantastic Japanese garden.

As in A Streetcar Named Desire, when Blanche put a paper lantern over a bare light bulb, Candy tries to make magic. Can she remake reality? Though the sailor agrees to wear the kimono Candy offers him, he has his own ideas of romance.

Williams called And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens …  (the title trailing off into ellipses) a tragic comedy. He began writing it on a trip to Cuba in 1957 and worked on it into the early ’70s. The play was first produced in the United States in 2004, more than a decade after Williams’ death. Our site-specific production is directed by Lane Savadove, artistic director of EgoPo Classic Theater in Philadelphia, whose previous festival shows include last year’s sensory staging of Samuel Beckett’s Company.

 

THE ANGEL IN THE ALCOVE
Drama
directed by Anthoullis Demosthenous
produced by Poreia Theatre | Cyprus

A former boarding-house tenant recalls his strange company in this gritty elegy adapted from a Williams short story.

This theatrical take on a 1943 Williams short story is set in a rooming house on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. In the hallways, a young artist collides with eccentric tenants, a heroic widow, and a paranoid landlady. In his room, his sole friend is an angelic gray figure who appears in the alcove, but only when the light is just right.

This wistful, beautifully observed short story comes to life onstage thanks to the imagination of a director and author obsessed with Williams: Anthoullis Demosthenous, from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

In his book Saint Tennessee Williams on Stage, Demosthenous reflects on Williams’ works as religious drama. His vision of the The Angel in the Alcove cloisters a narrator into a small, spare room questioning what keeps us trapped and what — or who — allows us to break free.

In his first visit to Provincetown, Demosthenous will present his richly-textured take on Williams by remounting his 2014 Cyprus production in English.

 

Plays by Yukio Mishima:

 

THE LADY AOI
Drama — Ghost Story
directed by Fred Abrahamse
featuring Marcel Meyer and Joel DeCandio
produced by Abrahamse and Meyer | Cape Town, South Africa

An apparition haunts a hospital bed in this modern version of an ancient Japanese Noh play. The highly acclaimed production from South Africa is performed with puppets, masks, and live actors.

In Mishima’s modern take on a 15th-century Noh play, an apparition haunts a woman in a hospital room while a mysterious nurse looks on. As body and spirit mix, violent thoughts turn erotic, and a deeper window opens onto a time of fierce beauty and lost love.

Five years after The Lady Aoi became a sleeper hit at the Festival, Abrahamse and Meyer are remounting their iconic production. “The major theme of The Lady Aoi is unrequited love,” says performer Marcel Meyer. “At some stage, almost everyone has been deeply in love with a person who isn't in love with them. All the pain and suffering that brings — Mishima has beautifully distilled that essence in his sparse and poetic little play.”

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions previously produced Hamlet and Sweet Bird of Youth at the Festival in 2017, as well as Desire Under the Elms in 2016, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and The Day on Which a Man Dies in 2015, The Lady Aoi in 2014, and Kingdom of Earth in 2013.

 

BUSU
Farce — World Premiere
directed by Daniel Irizarry and Laurence Kominz
translated by Donald Keene and Laurence Kominz
produced by One Eighth Theater and Portland State University Kyogen
New York, New York | Portland, Oregon

Temptation gets the better of two panicked shop assistants in Mishima’s madcap physical comedy, performed on a double bill with a traditional Japanese version of the same story.

Busu means delicious poison, and it’s the title of a 400-year-old madcap Japanese farce. Mishima wrote his own version in 1957, set in an antique shop in Greenwich Village. As a double dose of delicious poison, we will present both Mishima’s concoction and the traditional recipe, each performed by a different ensemble.

The story unfolds the same way in Manhattan as in medieval Japan: two hapless flunkies are spellbound by the reputation of the busu. Their boss has just left, with a warning never to touch this mysterious object. It’s such a deadly poison, he says, that if a breeze blowing over it should reach their nostrils they would die. Greed leads to disaster and disaster to a stroke of genius.  Bursting with physical gags, our double dose of Busu pulls a roomful of laughs from one magic little package. 

Busu is the only play that Mishima wrote to be performed in English. Donald Keene’s witty translation will be directed and performed by New York’s Daniel Irizarry, whose most recent performance off-Broadway earned him praise in The New Yorker for his “acrobatic abandon.” Mishima’s Busu in Provincetown will be its first-ever professional production.

Busu, in a traditional kyogen staging, will be presented in English by the acclaimed translator and kyogen performer Laurence Kominz, who has been an ambassador for kyogen performances in America for decades.

 

THE LIGHTHOUSE
English-Language Premiere
directed by Benny Sato Ambush
produced by Marissa Carpio | New York, New York

Unspoken desire breaks the surface of a post-war family's placid life in Mishima's passionate drama from 1949, in a new English-language translation.

Fresh out of the Japanese navy in American-occupied Japan, 25-year-old Noboru was startled when he first met Isako, the attractive 30-year-old woman who married his widowed father.

Since then, Noboru and Isako's silent attraction to each other has simmered beneath the surface. A close-quarters vacation to Oshima Island south of Tokyo ruptures their pact, casting the whole family into dangerous waters. Noboru’s teenage sister Masako bears witness and is forced to find her way from innocence into the world of adults.

The Festival presents The Lighthouse in a new English translation by Mishima scholar Laurence Kominz, in collaboration with acclaimed director Benny Sato Ambush. This will be the English translation’s first production.

Adapted from Jean Racine’s 17th-century tragedy Phèdre — itself a retelling of the story of Phaedra from Greek mythology — The Lighthouse is one of Mishima’s most frequently performed one-act plays in Japan. The 1949 play is written as a shingeki, a Japanese theater form based on modern realism.

“There is a strong subterranean undercurrent of repressed sexuality bursting at the seams throughout the play,” says Ambush. “It is heavy in the spring air, all that yearning and wanting and desire... Williams and Chekhov would be proud.”

With Lya Yanne as Isako, Haley Sakamoto as Masako, and Natsuko Hirano as Junko.

 

THE BLACK LIZARD
Psychedelic Mystery
directed by Jesse Jou
featuring Yuhua Hamasaki
produced by the Provincetown TW Festival, in association with Texas Tech University
Provincetown, MA | Lubbock, TX

Mishima’s outrageous camp classic about a glamorous jewel thief and the handsome detective she enthralls.

Yuhua Hamasaki, who made a splash on television last year on RuPaul’s Drag Race, steps into the heels of Black Lizard — a most fabulous master of criminal illusions.

The 2019 season culminates in Town Hall on Festival Sunday with a one-time-only staged reading of The Black Lizard, Mishima’s over-the-top criminal caper. We track a battle of wits between a private detective and the glamorous crime boss who has snatched a rich jeweler’s daughter in hopes the jeweler will exchange her for his prized Star of Egypt diamond.

Set in giddy, groovy 1960’s Japan, the action spins from a ritzy hotel room to a millionaire’s kitchen, up to the observation platform of Tokyo Tower, and down onto Black Lizard’s private yacht and the dungeons of her secret island. Black Lizard, as strong-willed as she is well-dressed, decides she’d like to keep, for her own pleasure, the ransomed diamond and the body of the kidnapped heiress.

Black Lizard’s worthy opponent, Kogoro Akechi, the Sherlock Holmes of Japan, first appeared in 1925 in a short story by Edogawa Ranpo, Japan’s premier mystery writer. Akechi is still a fixture in Japanese popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, video games, anime and manga. Mishima’s outrageous stage version of Black Lizard and Akechi’s love/hate relationship made a sensation on the Japanese equivalent of Broadway in 1962. For the 1968 film version of the play, starring cross-dressing male actor Akihiro Miwa as the lovesick lady crime boss, Mishima played one of Black Lizard’s sex slaves.

Translated with wit and panache by Mark Oshima, the staged reading will feature an ensemble of artists from the 2019 Festival directed by Jesse Jou.

 

Plus:

 

WILLIAMS 101
Discussion
With Patricia Navarra

This entertaining 90-minute lesson on Tennessee Williams and this year’s plays will brief audiences on the playwrights, with handy insights about our lineup of performances.

Hosted by Patricia Navarra of Hofstra University, Williams 101 is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your Tennessee Williams and discover how his works have shaped this year’s themes.

With brief, informative backgrounds on this year’s playwrights, the discussion will prime your pump for a weekend of theater. Peppered with Festival artists, Williams 101 provides audience members with practical insights into the thematic through-lines of the Festival lineup.

 

About the 2019 Education Program

The newly-launched Festival Workshop series extends the Festival’s commitment to international creative exchange with a series of performance craft classes held in Provincetown in the mornings during Festival Week. Taught by Elizabeth Dowd, Natsu Onoda Power, and other theater professionals, these workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), kami-shibai (storytelling with drawings), kabuki (popular theater), and kyogen (traditional farce). Patrons may purchase the Festival’s new Workshop Pass, which provides access to classes as well as tickets to a curated set of Festival performances, at twptown.org.

The Tennessee Williams Institute, now in its eighth year, is an immersive University-level symposium offered for college credit through Texas Tech University of Lubbock during the Festival in Provincetown from September 25-29. This year’s visiting scholars include translator, theater artist, and Portland State University professor of Japanese Laurence Kominz, Yukio Mishima biographer and Tufts University professor Susan Napier, and Mishima translator and Kabuki performer Mark Oshima.

“Each year since 2012, the TWI symposium has grown in both depth and reach,” says Festival Literary Manager Thomas Keith. “Previous sessions have been conducted by ranking Williams scholars from around the world, noted Shakespeare experts, and the go-to biographers of O’Neill and Lorca. We are reaching a new level this year with unprecedented participation of three first rate Mishima and Japanese theater experts.”

To learn more about enrollment in the Tennessee Williams Institute, visit twptown.org/TWI.


Round-Trip Charter Bus from New York City to Provincetown

Festival patrons from New York City can travel directly between Manhattan and Provincetown on a round-trip charter bus. The bus will depart on the morning of the first day of the Festival (Thursday, September 26), arriving that afternoon (estimated travel time six hours) in time for evening shows and the Opening Party.

The return bus will depart from Provincetown on the afternoon of the final day of the Festival (Sunday, September 29), arriving back in New York City that evening. Fare for the round-trip charter bus is $100, which can be purchased as an add-on to any Festival pass. Festival passes, including the bus fare add-on, are now on sale at twptown.org.

Patrons will also be able to purchase bus fare as an add-on to single-ticket reservations beginning June 1, when single tickets for all Festival shows go on sale.

 

About the 2019 Artwork

The 2019 Festival artwork adapts the psychedelic designs of legendary Japanese graphic designer and illustrator Tadanori Yokoo. Yokoo has graciously given the Festival permission to adapt details of his graphic work to represent each show.

Yokoo counts Yukio Mishima among his central influences. Born in 1936, Yokoo is one of Japan’s most successful artists of the past century with a long, honored, and varied career in printmaking, painting, illustration, and design. His professional life began in the theater. In the 1960s, he designed stage sets for avant garde theater productions in Tokyo. By the end of the ’60s, Yokoo had become internationally recognized for his artwork.

Although much of his brightly-colored artwork captures the bold appeal of the Pop Art movement, Yokoo’s art also carries political, symbolic, and autobiographical overtones. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York included Yokoo’s graphic work in the 1968 exhibition “Word & Image,” and featured Yokoo again in a solo exhibition in 1972.

Yokoo has exhibited extensively around the world and has designed posters and album covers for musical acts including The Beatles, Carlos Santana, and Cat Stevens. His art is featured in collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art in Kobe. He lives and works in Tokyo.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, throughout the seaside village, theater artists from around the globe celebrate Williams’ enduring influence with performances of classic texts and innovative productions. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Kathleen Turner is Guest of Honor at the June 1 Performance Gala in Provincetown (4-10-19)

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

 

Golden Globe Winner
And tony and academy award nominee


KATHLEEN TURNER


is guest of honor at the
Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

PERFORMANCE GALA

Saturday, June 1 at 6pm
Town Hall in Provincetown

Dinner seats and tables now available

 

April 10, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce that Kathleen Turner, a living legend of the stage and screen, will be the guest of honor at this year’s Performance Gala, the festival’s annual fundraising dinner.

The Gala will be held at Town Hall (260 Commercial Street) in Provincetown on Saturday, June 1, 2019. The gala supports the 14th annual Festival, which honors Tennessee Williams through performance of his plays and those of his peers.

Turner has crafted unforgettable performances in movies like Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, and Serial Mom, as well as in television and on stages around the world. She received a Tony Award nomination in 1990 for her performance as Maggie in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She received a second Tony nomination and an Evening Standard Award for her 2005 performance as Martha in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

She is the co-author of Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles (with Gloria Feldt, 2008) and Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow, 2018). Turner has won Golden Globe for Best Actress twice, for Romancing the Stone(1984), and Prizzi's Honor (1985), and has been nominated for a Golden Globe three other times.

At the Gala on June 1 she will discuss her life and career as an actor and director in film and on stage.

“The Gala audience is in for a treat: the bone-shaking sound of Turner’s voice for sure, but even more listening to what her great voice advocates,” says Festival Curator David Kaplan.

In Turner’s new book, Kaplan says, “she writes about the preparations to create her smart, steamy performance of Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway. She found humor and love necessary to play the role, and discovered the fun of performing Maggie despite the challenges of the text. She has sharp insights, too, about the role of Martha in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which she played for hundreds of performances in London, New York, and on tour.”

General admission tickets to the Performance Gala, as well as premium seats and table sponsorships, are now on sale at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.

Details of the Festival’s 2019 program will be announced in full at the Gala on June 1.

 

About Kathleen Turner

A Broadway veteran, bona fide film star, and accomplished acting teacher, Kathleen Turner has been nominated twice for the Tony Award, for her performance as Maggie in the 1990 revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Martha in the 2005 revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Beloved for her roles in classic films like Body Heat, The Man with Two Brains, The War of the Roses, The Virgin Suicides, and Peggy Sue Got Married – for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress – Turner has always excelled in carving fresh and memorable lines between comedy and drama, from her über-sultry turn as Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit to her gleeful life of suburban crime in John Waters’ Serial Mom.

Twice a winner at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress for her roles in Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor, Turner has been nominated three other times for a Golden Globe, and received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for her performance in Peggy Sue Got Married.

Turner has a storied career on television, including appearances on Friends, Californication, King of the Hill, Law & Order, Nip/Tuck, and The Simpsons. She has taught acting classes at New York University, serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and Citymeals on Wheels, and is an honorary board member for the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New York City.

Turner has taken two productions from Broadway to London’s West End: Terry Johnson’s The Graduate in 2000 (in the role of Mrs. Robinson) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 2006. In 2014, she starred opposite Ian McDiarmid in Stephen Sachs' Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre in London.

Following her 2011-2012 run in the Broadway production of Matthew Lombardo’s High, Turner has appeared on stage in regional theaters around the country, including as the title character in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. At Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she starred in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children and in Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.

Most recently, Turner has developed her first cabaret performance, Finding My Voice, which debuted in Philadelphia in 2017, and which then ran in London at The Other Palace Theatre and toured the United Kingdom. This February, she performed in the Donizetti opera La Fille du Régiment at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

“The roles for mature women onstage are a thousand times better than anything written in film,” Turner told Vulture in August 2018. “The screen roles are usually stereotypes: the evil stepmother, the bitter spinster. Whereas in theater there’s Martha or Mother Courage — I could name many characters I’d love to do. That’s why, knowing where my career could grow as I got less desirable for the camera, I focused on theater.”

Turner is the co-author of the 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow) as well as the 2008 memoir Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles (a collaboration with Gloria Feldt).

In Kathleen Turner on Acting, Turner recalls of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: “Once we got past the battle to allow us to do the original play, the original third act, then that opened up a lot of doors, in terms of exploring humor in the play. I cannot help but look for the humor in everything. I think that it is the best part of life, finding ways to laugh at it.”

 

About the 2019 Performance Gala

The Gala on Saturday, June 1 will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. with beer, wine, and champagne, featuring live entertainment from pianist Jim Brosseau.

The cocktail hour will be followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Over dinner, Festival Curator David Kaplan will announce this year’s artistic programming, with a sneak peek performance from one of the shows.

After the meal, Kathleen Turner will discuss her life and career in an on-stage interview.

The fundraiser will also include a silent and live auction featuring original fine art and unique experiences, like the continuation of the Festival’s salon series with notable arts figures.

The evening of June 1 also marks the on-sale date for single tickets to Festival shows and events, which will become available online and by phone after the season announcement. Gala attendees can make ticket reservations at the Festival sales table in Town Hall that evening. 

Carte Blanche passes, Flex Passes, and Workshop Passes, which allow patrons to attend multiple shows at a discount, are currently available for purchase, and can be redeemed for specific shows and events online and by phone starting on the evening of June 1.

The Festival’s Gala Committee is chaired by Jim Mauro, with board members Deborah Bowles and Albert Carey, Jr.

 

About the 2019 Festival Theme

The 2019 Festival program (Sept. 26 – 29 in Provincetown, Massachusetts) will feature plays by Tennessee Williams and the provocative Japanese author Yukio Mishima. Born a world apart, Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until 1970, the year Mishima died.

The September line-up of shows will include a new Japanese-inspired staging of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana, directed by Fred Abrahamse and produced by Cape Town, South Africa’s Abrahamse and Meyer Productions. The line-up will also include the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse, directed by Benny Sato Ambush.

“Williams wrote over eighty plays, Mishima sixty,” says Festival Curator David Kaplan. “Both share fever dreams of damnation and salvation onstage. For the unforgettable characters created by both writers, the glamor of illusion is often preferable to painful reality. Those collisions of glamor and pain make for great drama.”

Visit twptown.org/shows to read a Q&A with Kaplan about the themes of this year’s programming.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — 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 an understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st century, hosted by venues throughout the seaside village. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Abrahamse & Meyer, Benny Sato Ambush Join the 2019 Season (4-8-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)
> Read this story on Facebook

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

14th Annual
PROVINCETOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS THEATER FESTIVAL

Presents a Japanese-Inspired staging of tennessee Williams'

the night of the iguana

directed by fred Abrahamse
featuring Alison Fraser, marcel meyer, and everett quinton

and the english-language premiere of yukio Mishima's

the LIGHTHOUSE

directed by Benny Sato-Ambush

 

April 8, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce two upcoming shows in its 14th annual season, as well as a workshop series sharing the craft of Japanese theater arts. Festival patrons from New York can now travel directly to Provincetown for the Festival on a round-trip charter bus.

The 2019 Festival program (Sept. 26 – 29 in Provincetown, Massachusetts) will feature plays by Tennessee Williams and the provocative Japanese author Yukio Mishima.

At Sunday’s Tennessee Williams Birthday Bash in Provincetown, Festival Curator David Kaplan revealed that Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater.

The production will be directed by Fred Abrahamse, and will be presented at the Provincetown Theater. It will feature Broadway’s two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser, South African stage star Marcel Meyer, and the iconic Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

Kaplan also announced the Festival will present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse staged by acclaimed director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Mishima scholar Laurence Kominz.

 

About the Plays

The Night of the Iguana is considered among the finest of plays written by Williams, a vision of madness, endurance, and the miracle of grace.

South Africa’s Abrahamse and Meyer will produce the Festival’s September 2019 production directed by Fred Abrahamse. The staging is inspired by Japan’s Noh Theater, a form which can be said to have haunted Williams, set off by Williams’ appreciation for Yukio Mishima’s “Modern” Noh plays.

Often in a Noh play, a wandering monk asleep in the wilderness is haunted by a demonic dream. In The Night of the Iguana, the Reverend T. Laurence Shannon, a defrocked priest near madness, is terrorized by similar visons. From out of the Mexican jungle what Shannon calls a spook mocks the ex-priest’s loss of faith. When Shannon calls out in agony, the three women who love him are powerless to help him — or are they?

“Tennessee Williams seems to have written a modern Noh play with Iguana,” says Meyer, “with certain Japanese archetypes translated into a Western idiom. We think audiences watching Iguana at the festival this year will see the play revealed in a new way when it’s produced alongside Japanese and other Japanese-influenced work by Williams.”

Abrahamse says the company has been exploring the natural fusion between Mishima and Williams’ plays, “and the exchange of artistic ideas between Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Williams and Mishima were kindred spirits defining their own identities, identities which are personal and at the same time universal. The Provincetown festival really respects international collaboration like this, with people coming in from all over the world.”

Abrahamse and Meyer Productions previously produced Hamlet and Sweet Bird of Youth at the Festival in 2017, as well as Desire Under the Elms in 2016, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and The Day On Which a Man Dies in 2015, The Lady Aoi in 2014, and Kingdom of Earth in 2013.

The Lighthouse, written by Mishima, will play at the Festival in its English-language premiere. First published and performed in Japan in 1959, The Lighthouse (T?dai) became one of Mishima’s most frequently performed one-act plays. The play is written as shingeki, a Japanese theater form based on modern realism.

Mishima presents a modern Japanese stage adaptation of Jean Racine’s 17th-century tragedy Phèdre – itself a retelling of the story of Phaedra from Greek mythology. In The Lighthouse, 25-year-old Noboru re­turns home from war and meets Isako, an attractive 30-year-old woman who has just married Noburu’s recently widowed father Yakichi.

Noboru and Isako’s attraction to each other is unspoken until a family vacation to a resort is­land south of Tokyo, when the play begins. Noboru’s teenage sister Masako bears witness, and is forced to find her way from innocence into the world of adults.

“There is a strong subterranean undercurrent of repressed sexuality bursting at the seams throughout the play,” says director Benny Sato Ambush. “It is heavy in the spring air, all that yearning and wanting and desire seething underneath, and the torment of the soul in not getting what one desires. Williams and Chekhov would be proud.”

The full program will be announced at the Performance Gala at Town Hall in Provincetown on June 1. Festival passes, and tickets to the Gala, are now on sale at twptown.org.

 

The 2019 Education Program

The newly-launched Festival Workshop extends the Festival’s commitment to international creative exchange with a series of performance craft classes held in Provincetown in the mornings during Festival Week. Taught by Elizabeth Dowd, Natsu Onoda Power, and other theater professionals, these workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), kamishibai (storytelling with drawings), kabuki (popular theater), and kyogen (traditional farce). Patrons may purchase the Festival’s new Workshop Pass, which provides access to classes as well as tickets to a curated set of Festival performances, at twptown.org.

The Tennessee Williams Institute, now in its eighth year, is an immersive University-level symposium offered for college credit through Texas Tech University of Lubbock during the Festival in Provincetown from September 25-29. This year’s visiting scholars include translator, theater artist, and Portland State University professor of Japanese Laurence Kominz, Yukio Mishima biographer and Tufts University professor Susan Napier, and Japanese translator and Kabuki performer Mark Oshima.

“Each year since 2012, the TWI symposium has grown in both depth and reach,” says Festival Literary Manager Thomas Keith. “Previous sessions have been conducted by ranking Williams scholars from around the world, noted Shakespeare experts, and the go-to biographers of O’Neill and Lorca. We are reaching a new level this year with unprecedented participation of three first rate Mishima and Japanese theater experts.”

To learn more about enrollment in the Tennessee Williams Institute, visit twptown.org/TWI.


Round-Trip Charter Bus from New York City to Provincetown

Festival patrons from New York City can travel directly between Manhattan and Provincetown on a round-trip charter bus. The bus will depart on the morning of the first day of the Festival (Thursday, September 26), arriving that afternoon (estimated travel time six hours) in time for evening shows and the Opening Party.

The return bus will depart from Provincetown on the afternoon of the final day of the Festival (Sunday, September 29), arriving back in New York City that evening. Fare for the round-trip charter bus is $100, which can be purchased as an add-on to any Festival pass. Festival passes, including the bus fare add-on, are now on sale at twptown.org.

Patrons will also be able to purchase bus fare as an add-on to single-ticket reservations beginning June 1, when single tickets for all Festival shows go on sale.

 

The 2019 Artwork

The 2019 Festival artwork adapts the psychedelic designs of legendary Japanese graphic designer and illustrator Tadanori Yokoo.

Yokoo has graciously given the Festival permission to adapt details of his graphic work to represent each show. The show artwork for The Night of the Iguana and The Lighthouse, adapted by Festival designer Melinda Ancillo, were revealed at the Birthday Bash on March 24.

Yokoo counts Yukio Mishima among his central influences. Born in 1936, Yokoo is one of Japan’s most successful artists of the past century with a long, honored, and varied career in printmaking, painting, illustration, and design. His professional life began in the theater. In the 1960s, he designed stage sets for avant garde theater productions in Tokyo. By the end of the ’60s, Yokoo had become internationally recognized for his artwork.

Although much of his brightly-colored artwork captures the bold appeal of the Pop Art movement, Yokoo’s art also carries political, symbolic, and autobiographical overtones. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York included Yokoo’s graphic work in the 1968 exhibition “Word & Image,” and featured Yokoo again in a solo exhibition in 1972.

Yokoo has exhibited extensively around the world and has designed posters and album covers for musical acts including The Beatles, Carlos Santana, and Cat Stevens. His art is featured in collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art in Kobe. He lives and works in Tokyo.

 

The 2019 Festival Theme

Born a world apart, Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until 1970, the year Mishima died.

Confessions, pain, and ghosts are some of the strongest connections between Williams and Mishima. Twenty years after the Second World War ended —from the side claiming victory and from the side forced to acknowledge defeat — Williams and Mishima shared a vision that evil has power over people because power in and of itself, devoid of morality, has beauty.

“Does fear have an aesthetic?” asks Kaplan. “Mishima and Williams make plays out of fear. Does evil have some attraction, some beauty, especially the beauty that has the potential to annihilate us?”

Recognizing such attraction to the beauty of power and evil onstage is a step toward gaining mastery over evil in life. Both visionary playwrights propose that abandoning oneself to evil and destruction is a romantic choice, countered by the difficult labors necessary to love oneself and others.

Festival artists and collaborators from around the world will produce and perform in this year’s line-up of plays. The 2019 Festival program will be announced in full at the Performance Gala on Saturday June 1, 2019, and online that same night at twptown.org. Tickets to the Performance Gala go on sale in early April, at which point premium seats, general admission tickets, and table sponsorships will be available online and by phone at twptown.org or by calling 866-789-TENN.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, throughout the seaside village, theater artists from around the globe celebrate Williams’ enduring influence with performances of classic texts and innovative productions. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Announcing The Second Annual TW Birthday Bash (2-19-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)
> Read this story on Facebook

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(413) 341-6523 // hunter@twptown.org

 

PROVINCETOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS THEATER FESTIVAL
ANNOUNCES THE SECOND ANNUAL

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS BIRTHDAY BASH

Sunday, March 24, 4pm - 6pm

Party at The Pilgrim House in Provincetown
Celebrates williams' 108th birthday with cake, drinks, prizes,
and a sneak preview of the 2019 festival shows

Proceeds benefit the 14th annual festival
september 26 - 29, 2019

 

February 19, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce the return of the Tennessee Williams Birthday Bash for its second year.

The Birthday Bash is a casual-dress event, and will be held at The Pilgrim House at 336 Commercial Street in the seaside village of Provincetown – one of Williams’ formative homes – on Sunday, March 24, from 4pm to 6pm.

Attendees can expect a lighthearted gathering of Williams fans, local business owners, artists and art lovers, Festival staff, and new friends. Party-goers can sample Williams’ favorite drinks, eat birthday cake, enjoy live performance, and win Festival tickets and other prizes.

In addition, Festival Curator David Kaplan will announce to Birthday Bash attendees two shows planned for the 2019 Festival in September: a Tennessee Williams classic, and a rare world premiere of a play by Yukio Mishima.

Admission to the Birthday Bash is available at the door, with a $20 minimum suggested donation, but attendees can skip the line by submitting an RSVP in advance at twptown.org. Visit the Birthday Bash webpage for more information.

By celebrating the great American playwright on the weekend before his 108th birthday, the event will raise funds for the 14th annual Festival (September 26 – 29). Festival passes are now on sale at twptown.org.

Can’t make it? Say happy birthday with a $20 donation online, and we’ll raise a glass in thanks at the party! All donors contributing $20 or more will be listed on Tennessee’s virtual birthday card.

Plus: The Pilgrim House invites all to enjoy a special Tennessee Williams-themed $35 Prix Fixe dinner menu (reservations suggested). To reserve seats, contact The Pilgrim House at (508) 487-6424. 

 

About the 2019 Festival Theme

The 2019 Festival program promises unconventional theater from America and Japan. The program will feature plays by Tennessee Williams and the provocative Japanese author Yukio Mishima. 

Festival Curator David Kaplan says that confessions, pain, and ghosts are some of the strongest connections between Williams and Mishima. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until 1970, the year Mishima died.

“Does fear have an aesthetic?” asks Kaplan. “Mishima and Williams make plays out of fear. Does evil have some attraction, some beauty, especially the beauty that has the potential to annihilate us?”

Festival artists and collaborators from around the world will produce and perform in this year’s line-up of plays, in venues throughout the seaside village of Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. The 2019 Festival program will be announced in full at the Annual Dinner in Provincetown on Saturday June 1, 2019, and online that same night at twptown.org.

Tickets to the Annual Dinner go on sale in early March, at which point premium seats, general admission tickets, and table sponsorships will be available online and by phone at twptown.org or by calling 866-789-TENN.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st century, hosted by venues throughout the seaside village. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.

Dates and Theme Announced for the 2019 Festival (2-15-19)

> Download this Press Release (PDF)
> Read this story on Facebook

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:                                        
Hunter Styles, Communications Manager
(202) 306-5429 // hunter@twptown.org

 

DATES ANNOUNCED FOR THE
2019 PROVINCETOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
THEATER FESTIVAL

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS & YUKIO MISHIMA

14th Annual festival brings four days of international arts to the cape
Thursday, Sept. 26 — Sunday, Sept. 29

Full season to be announced at the annual gala dinner
Saturday, June 1 in provincetown

 

February 15, 2019 — (Provincetown, MA) The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce that its Annual Dinner will return on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

The gala will be held at Town Hall in Provincetown to support the organization’s 14th annual Festival, which will run from September 22-29, 2019. Festival passes are now on sale at twptown.org.

The 2019 Festival program promises unconventional theater from America and Japan. The program will feature plays by Tennessee Williams and the provocative Japanese author Yukio Mishima.

Festival Curator David Kaplan says that confessions, pain, and ghosts are some of the strongest connections between Williams and Mishima. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until 1970, the year Mishima died.

"Does fear have an aesthetic?” asks Kaplan. “Mishima and Williams make plays out of fear. Does evil have some attraction, some beauty, especially the beauty that has the potential to annihilate us?"

Festival artists and collaborators from around the world will produce and perform in this year’s line-up of plays, in venues throughout the seaside village of Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. The 2019 Festival program will be announced in full at the Annual Dinner on June 1.

Guests of honor at past dinners have included award-winning stage and film actors Amanda Plummer (2018), Dana Delany (2017), Brian Dennehy (2016), Cherry Jones (2015), Zachary Quinto (2014), and Elizabeth Ashley (2013).

Further details about the Annual Dinner will be announced soon, at which point premium seats, general admission tickets, and table sponsorships will be available online and by phone at twptown.org or by calling 866-789-TENN.

 

About the 2019 Festival Theme

In Japan, Mishima achieved a level of celebrity comparable to that of Williams in America. He wrote sixty-two plays, as well as thirty-four novels and twenty-five books of short stories.

The 2019 Festival will present pairings of plays by Williams and Mishima in different styles. Planning for this year goes back to 2014, when the Festival presented plays by Williams alongside plays by four of his friends and peers: William Inge, Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers, and Yukio Mishima.

“In that 2014 lineup, Mishima’s work was, surprisingly, the crowd-pleaser,” says Kaplan. “In our production from South Africa of Mishima’s eerie play The Lady Aoi, a seaside vacation that seemed scary when you read about it turned sexy in performance.”

Mishima’s wide-ranging works include traditional Kabuki written in verse, modern realistic plays, parodies, satires, and propaganda plays, says Kaplan. “He wrote a campy three-act play that resembles 1950s/early ’60s film noir, which meant balancing horror and humor with suspense. He took austere traditional Noh plays and modernized them enough to take place on a park bench or in a hospital room.”

In 1957 and 1958, just as he met Mishima, Williams entered what might be called a Japanese phase. Japanese theater forms turn up overtly in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Suddenly Last Summer, The Night of the Iguana, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens, Will Mr. Merriwether Return from Memphis?, and The Day on Which a Man Dies. This period of Japanese influence ran for a dozen years, up to 1970, the year Mishima died.

 

About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — 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 an understanding of the full breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. To date, the Festival has produced 12 world premieres of Williams plays, including several previously unpublished works. Each year, theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate Williams’ enduring influence in the 21st century, hosted by venues throughout the seaside village. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.

This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by The Pilgrim House.

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