- May 11, 2020
-- This was to be the week that the Fifth Annual Festival, Tennessee Williams & Italy opened. Weeks ago the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (TWSTL) put the brakes on not knowing when it would be safe for cast, crew and audience to be together. After careful consideration they made the decision to move their programming "Tennessee Williams &; Italy" to May 2021 at The Grandel as their Sixth Annual TWFest. The scope of the previously planned productions were too large to be able to produce in 2020 as imagined and insure that casts, crews and audiences remained safe.
Taking a sharp pivot from Italy to St. Louis, they will reboot the Fifth Annual Festival to focus on Williams' youth and time spent with The Mummers, an offbeat St. Louis theatre company that tried out a number of Williams early plays and is immortalized in Williams essay "Something Wild." "Tennessee Williams: Something Wild" will play October 22- November 1, 2020 at The Link Auditorium (formerly The Wednesday Club and the theatre where The Mummers performed) as long as it remains safe to produce at that time.
Their Main Stage production will be of Williams' most iconic play, "The Glass Menagerie," seen through the lens of The Mummers in a framing story written by St. Louisan Brian Hohlfeld. Other offerings will include a production of "Glass" by Michael Aman which imagines Williams and Laurette Taylor in her dressing room on the opening night of "The Glass Menagerie"; a series of "St. Louis Rooming House Plays," one-acts by Williams that all take place in St Louis; "The Man in the Overstuffed Chair," a one-man show featuring renowned Williams interpreter Jeremy Lawrence, based on an essay in which Williams addresses his relationship with his father; a Scholars Conference which will delve deeply into Williams' time in Missouri; audience panels with St Louis themes; a Tennessee Williams Tribute; the TW Bus Tour; social events and more.
"Adversity can sometimes truly spur creativity,"
explains Carrie Houk, TWSTL (https://www.twstl.org/
) Executive Artistic Director. "I possibly never would have imagined this exciting line-up which truly honors Tennessee Williams in St Louis to celebrate our fifth anniversary. Making a lot of lemonade out of lemons these days!"