Caldwell, Harris, Parsons and Saint to Be Part of Kennedy Center's Williams Celebration

News   Caldwell, Harris, Parsons and Saint to Be Part of Kennedy Center's Williams Celebration
 
Four leading actresses will help kick off the Kennedy Center's Tennessee Williams' celebration — Tennessee Williams Explored — in April.

The Washington Post reports that Zoe Caldwell, Rosemary Harris, Estelle Parsons and Eva Marie Saint will take part in a symposium at the Kennedy Center on April 12. Moderated by CBS's Charles Osgood, the evening will allow the actresses to recall their work in Williams' productions as well as their encounters with the playwright himself.

Zoe Caldwell won her first Tony Award for her work in Tennessee Williams' Slapstick Tragedy in 1966. She also won the coveted award for her performances in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Medea and Master Class. Rosemary Harris starred as Blanche Du Bois in Lincoln Center's 1973 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Harris has been nominated for nine Tonys; she won for her first nomination, 1966's The Lion in Winter. A veteran of stage and screen, Estelle Parson starred in Williams' The Seven Descents of Myrtle; she received a Tony nomination for that performance as well as nominations for her work in And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, Miss Margarida's Way and Morning's at Seven. Eva Marie Saint starred in the Kennedy Center's 1973 production of Williams' Summer and Smoke.

Born Thomas Lanier Williams on March 26, 1911, Tennessee Williams became one of the most respected playwrights in American theatre history. His first bona fide Broadway success was the 1945 premiere of The Glass Menagerie. Two years later his production of A Streetcar Named Desire earned the young playwright both the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. Among his many other works are The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, Orpheus Descending, Not About Nightingales and Suddenly, Last Summer. Williams died August 13, 1983.

A Streetcar Named Desire will open the festival, playing April 27-May 16, 2004, at the Center's Eisenhower Theater. Garry Hynes, the first woman to receive a Best Director of a Play Tony Award (for her work on The Beauty Queen of Leenane), will helm the production about the fragile Blanche DuBois and her tragic downfall. Hynes was most recently Tony-nommed for her direction of The Lonesome West.

Tickets for Tennessee Williams Explored will go on sale Feb. 7. For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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