Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis Announces 2019 Main Stage Production
"The Night of the Iguana" May 9-19 - also featuring "A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur" and Bryan Batt in "Dear Mr. Williams"
By: Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis
The Festival will also feature the Williams comedy that inspired TV's "The Golden Girls." Set in the Central West End and featuring an all-female cast, "A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur" will be directed by Kari Ely at Grand Hall, upstairs from the Grandel Theatre.
Bryan Batt, the SAG Award winner ("Mad Men") and Drama Desk Award nominee (Broadway's "Sunset Boulevard, "Cats"), will round out the theatrical productions at the Curtain Call Lounge with "Dear Mr. Williams." The tumultuous—and sometimes treacherous—
The Festival will also feature panel discussions curated by renowned Williams expert Thomas Mitchell, a bus tour of important Williams sites around St. Louis, a Mother's Day Sunday jazz brunch, and a tribute featuring curated readings by an array of local actors.
Carrie Houk, founder and artistic director of the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, said, "In a letter from the Hotel Costa Verde in Mexico, Williams writes, 'The people here are of two classes, those who are waiting for something to happen or those who believe that everything has happened already.' Here is the common thread for this year's festival," Houk continued.
Director Tim Ocel counts "Iguana" as his favorite Williams play. "It allows for the possibility of compassion and the restoration of the spirit," said Ocel. "It expands on that brief moment of compassion the doctor shows towards Blanche at the end of 'Streetcar,"
Tennessee Williams believed that growing up in St. Louis was essential to the shape of his work. "Creve Coeur" is one of the few plays that he actually set here. Four eccentric and unforgettable women fry chicken, plan a picnic to Creve Coeur Lake, and cope with loneliness and lost dreams in an efficiency apartment on Enright. Williams gives us more laughs than usual, but no less poetry or poignancy. "Williams often likened himself to a bird, forever in flight," said Houk. "The desire to fly away (if only to Creve Coeur Park one Sunday afternoon) comes out of the pores of the women of this play." Kari Ely, one of the most celebrated actresses in St. Louis, made her critically acclaimed directorial debut with "The Weir" in 2016. She will be directing a cast of Maggie Wininger, Kelley Weber, Julie Layton, and Ellie Schwetye. "In these four characters,"
"Dear Mr. Williams," will be directed by award-winning Broadway director Michael Wilson. The blue devils of sex, alcohol, and mendacity take center stage in this tender and funny coming of age story of a young gay artist. With the great American playwright as his compass, Bryan Batt takes us on a thrilling and very personal journey out of the shadows into a bright light of self-discovery. Friday and Saturday, May 10-11 only, at the Curtain Call Lounge. Conceived, written, and performed by Bryan Batt.
Leadership support for the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is generously provided by Mary Strauss and Nancy and Ken Kranzberg. The Festival is also funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts & Education Council.
The 2019 Festival runs May 9-19. Tickets go on sale March 1 at MetroTix.com. Visit www.twstl.org or call 314-517-5253 for additional event information.
Page Updated Last on: Apr 17, 2019