Tennessee Williams Festival to Feature American Gothic, Orpheus Descending and Suddenly Last Summer

News   Tennessee Williams Festival to Feature American Gothic, Orpheus Descending and Suddenly Last Summer The world premiere of American Gothic, which melds the Grant Wood painting with the tale of Bonnie and Clyde, will be presented during the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in September.

The fifth annual festival, which runs Sept. 23-26, offers rarely-seen works by the late Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, as well as productions of his classics and theatrical pieces inspired by his writing.

American Gothic, which will be presented along with 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, is Williams' pre-1937 work that uses the painting "American Gothic" as its starting point. The comedy imagines the farm couple as the parents of Clyde Barrow, who force their son to leave home when they discover that he and his girlfriend, Bonnie Parker have been robbing banks. It was originally authored to be part of a play collection titled American Blues. Jeff Glickman will direct both one-act productions (Sept. 23-26).

Nick Potenzieri will direct New York City's Infinite Theatre production of Orpheus Descending. The piece will be staged as "a morality play inside a Provincetown church" (Sept. 23-25).

Orpheus serves as inspiration for Escape, comprised of two different plays based on Williams' themes. Rick Corley will direct the first about a jailbreak, which interrupts a chain gang's card game. Kate Mendeloff will direct the latter, which tells of a teenage boy who swims to his death rather than return to the life his mother has planned for him. DanszLoop Chicago Ensemble will also perform dance pieces inspired by the two works (Sept. 24-25).

Jodie Markell, who directed the Williams film "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," will stage a reading of Suddenly, Last Summer (Sept. 26). Eugene O'Neill's Diff'rent will be staged by Festival Director Jef Hall-Flavin. According to the festival, Williams attended the theatre only once while in Provincetown, and it was to see O'Neill's play. McNeely Myers will lead the cast of the Provincetown Theater Company production of the work described as "the personal tragedy of a girl named Emma, who turns from an idealistic virgin at age 20, to a sex-starved fool at 50" (Sept. 24-26).

Additional presentations will include a screening of films that inspired Williams' work; Doug Tompos' one-man show based on poet Hart Crane, Bent to the Flame; the theatrical presentation of The Jazz Funeral of Stella Brooks conjuring the late white New Orleans singer; and a gallery exhibition exploring the Orpheus theme.

For more information and tickets visit TWPTown.org or call (866) 789-8366.

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