SEPTEMBER 21 - 24, 2017

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Past Festivals

2016 Press Releases

2016 Festival Program Announcement

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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rory Marcus
rorymarcuspr@aol.com
508.776.1241 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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 

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