Gutierrez Replaces Caldwell as Cat Director at Kennedy Center

By Andrew Gans
March 28, 2003

It will be Gerald Gutierrez, not the previously announced Zoe Caldwell, who will direct the Kennedy Center’s 2004 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.



Caldwell has withdrawn from the production due to "personal reasons." In a statement the Tony Award-winning actress said, "I always love working at the Kennedy Center, but my own personal circumstances make it impossible at this time. I look forward to another opportunity in the future."

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of three classic Williams plays to be staged at the Kennedy Center during its upcoming festival of his works, “Tennessee Williams Explored.” Cat will play the Center’s Eisenhower Theatre June 1-20, 2004. A Streetcar Named Desire — under the direction of Garry Hynes — will open the festival, playing April 27-May 16. Gregory Mosher, who helmed the Jessica Lange-Alec Baldwin Streetcar Named Desire, will direct Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, which runs July 6-25, also at the Eisenhower.

Gerald Gutierrez is the recipient of two Tony Awards for Best Director for his work on A Delicate Balance and The Heiress. He also received a Tony nomination for Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and his other Broadway directorial credits include The Curse of an Aching Heart, Little Johnny Jones, The Most Happy Fella, White Liars & Black Comedy, Once Upon a Mattress, Ivanov, Honour, Ring Round the Moon and this season’s Dinner at Eight.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2700 F. Street, NW in Washington, D.C. Tickets for “Tennessee Williams Explored” will go on sale Feb. 7, 2004. For more information about the Center’s many productions, go to www.kennedy-center.org.

*

Last summer the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented a landmark festival honoring award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim. Appropriately titled the "Sondheim Celebration," the Sondheimfest featured six of the composer's classic musicals: Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music. Now, after much speculation, it has been confirmed that the summer of 2004 will bring another marathon tribute at the Kennedy Center, one celebrating the works of American playwright Tennessee Williams. From April to July 2004, the famed Center will offer “Tennessee Williams Explored,” which will boast full stagings of three Williams classics at the Eisenhower Theatre: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie. No casting has been announced for these productions.

The 10-week exploration will also feature five one-act plays at the Center’s more intimate, 500-seat Terrace Theatre. Michael Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre, will helm the one-acts, which include three premieres. Entitled Five By Tenn, the one-acts comprise I Can't Imagine, Adam and Eve on a Ferry, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens..., Escape and one other play yet to be chosen.

Other highlights of the Williams festival will include Richard Thomas’ solo performance in Letters from Tennessee: A Distant Country Called Youth June 11-13 at the Terrace Theatre, and Andre Previn and Philip Littell’s East Coast premiere of the opera version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Brad Dalton will direct the latter with designs by Michael Yeargan.

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.