SEPTEMBER 24 - 27, 2020

The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers

by Tennessee Williams

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

Spooky Action Theater

Washington, DC


This event was presented Sept 26-29, 2019
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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 William’s 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 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.


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Joseph Agostini
Paul Gerardi
Jon Hansen
George & Helen Ingram
Christine Walker


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