Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

A Message from Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis Executive Artistic Director

Youth must be wanton, youth must be quick,
Dance to the candle which lasteth the wick,

Youth must be foolish and mirthful and blind,
Gaze not before and glance not behind,

Mark not the shadow that darkens the way-
Regret not the glitter of any lost day,

But laugh with no reason except the red wine,
For youth must be youthful and foolish and blind!

-Tennessee Williams “The Night of the Iguana”

This was to be the week that we would have opened our Fifth Annual Festival, Tennessee Williams & Italy. Weeks ago we put the brakes on not knowing when it would be safe for our cast, crew, and audience to be
together. After careful consideration, we have made the decision to move our programming “Tennessee  Williams & Italy” to May 2021 at The Grandel as our Sixth Annual TWFest. The scope of the planned productions was too large to be able to produce as we imagined and insuring that our casts,
crews, and audiences remained safe.

That said we are currently taking a sharp pivot from Italy to St. Louis with a reboot of a Fifth Annual Festival which will 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). This all depends of course on whether or not it will be safe to produce at this time.

Our MainStage production will be of Williams’ most iconic play, “The Glass
Menagerie” seen through the lens of The Mummers in a framing story written
by Brian Hohlfeld. Other offerings will include a production of “Glass” by
Michael Aman which imagines Tennessee 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 TW that all take place in St
Louis; “The Man in the Overstuffed Chair”, a one-man show featuring
renowned TW interpreter Jeremy Lawrence, based on an essay in which
Tennessee 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. 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!

Please consider a gift to support our art and our artists, if you possibly can. We truly appreciate all gifts, large or small, during these tenuous times. Your gift will help us make a difference! Please remain safe and healthy as we continue to navigate and weather our current storm. If you can, remember us on Giving Tuesday, Give STL Day or by visiting our website – www.twstl.org

My Very Best Wishes,
Carrie Houk, Executive Artistic Director