Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Fifth Annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, En Avant!

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis presents a beautiful series of six works by or influenced by Tennessee Williams that exemplify the spirit of strongly moving forward during a time of extreme fragility – featuring Williams’ iconic St. Louis-based work, The Glass Menagerie. Ken Page will serve as our host and opens the Festival with “Something Wild,” depicting Williams’s early years as a writer in St. Louis. Each play will be followed by commentary by Williams scholar Tom Mitchell.

In addition, a series of video panels relating to the productions, as well as an audio tour of Williams St. Louis sites, will be posted on our website.

All plays will be presented on Classic 107.3, with additional streaming on TWStL.org and Classic1073.org through November 22. Find a program and a full schedule of events HERE. Mark your calendars! You do not want to miss any of these offerings.

The plays and panels are presented free of charge, although we will happily
accept donations.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Williams’ greatest, most famous, and most personal play. The narrator recalls late in life how his youthful devotion to his sister Rose (Laura in the play) conflicted with his creative passions as he was about to escape from St. Louis for good. Directed by Brian Hohlfeld.
Running time: approx. 60 minutes for each act in addition to a short intermission.

You Lied to Me About Centralia by John Guare
This play picks up the story of Jim, the Gentleman Caller, immediately after he leaves the Wingfield home to meet Betty, his fiancée. It further illuminates the themes of The Glass Menagerie, leaving us to ponder how a step or two in another direction might have changed everyone’s lives. Directed by Rayme Cornell.
Running time: approx. 30 minutes

Glass by Michael Aman
This new play takes us forward in time to when The Glass Menagerie is about to open in Chicago, on the way to Broadway. In this multi-layered one-act play, the budding playwright meets the lead actress before she goes on. Williams, having spurned his mother, wants to be famous. She, broken by addiction, is about to portray his own mother’s character and wants to be famous again. Can this premiere possibly succeed? Directed by Gary Wayne Barker.
Running time: approx. 90 minutes

Tennessee Williams The Man in the Overstuffed Chair
Cornelius Coffin Williams (C.C. as his cronies called him) famously referred to his son as “Miss Nancy.” Theirs was an uneasy relationship at best and yet in The Glass Menagerie, Williams idealized the absent father as “the man who fell in love with long-distance.” And late in his life, Williams said his father’s story. This newest piece created by Jeremy Lawrence in the playwright’s words captures a son’s struggle to love the unloveable man who was his father. Presented by special arrangement with The University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee).
Running time: approx. 55 minutes

Tennessee Williams Something Wild
Broadway legend Ken Page will serve as the Host of the Festival in addition to opening it with this reading that depicts the playwright’s early years in St. Louis. Presented by special arrangement with The University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee).
Running time: approx. 20 minutes

Tennessee Williams Tom and Rose
“My sister was a much more vital person than Laura. Terribly vital,” Tennessee once wrote. In this new one-man piece by Jeremy Lawrence based on Williams’ works and words, Rose emerges not as the victim but as the life force who was at the very center of so much of Tennessee’s work as Tennessee follows his thoughts into the various incarnations of the great love of his life whose candle would never blow out. Presented by special arrangement with The University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee).
Running time: approx. 50 minutes