En Avant: 5th Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis airs Nov. 5-15
29 October, 2020
Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (a 2019-20 PNC Program Grant recipient) begins its fifth season next week – this time over the radio with a forward-thinking theme. En avant, meaning forward in French, was a signature phrase of Williams’ as he moved through life despite many trials. The theme “En avant” encapsulates the vision of the festival which has continued to move forward since March finding new ways to bring Williams’ work to the St. Louis community.
This summer the festival brought one-act plays to a wide audience through the “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams on the Air” program on Classic 107.3 (an Arts and Education Council grantee). This November, the festival will be available to the community free of charge on Classic 107.3. The festival includes three mainstage plays: “The Glass Menagerie”, Williams’ most famous and personal play; “You Lied to Me about Centralia”, by John Guare which picks up the story of Jim, the gentleman caller; and “Glass” by Michael Aman, which takes the audience to when “The Glass Menagerie” is about to open in Chicago, on the way to Broadway. Broadway star Ken Page will serve as the host of the festival in addition to opening the festival with a reading of "Something Wild", depicting Williams early years as a playwright in St. Louis.
“While we miss performing live, we have found that Williams’ beautiful, poetic language translates well to radio,” shared Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk. “These are fully produced plays brought to life by an impressive company of directors, actors and sound designers.”
Other programming includes two different one-man performances by acclaimed Williams actor Jeremy Lawrence: "Tom and Rose" and "The Man in the Overstuffed Chair". There will also be a Scholars Conference and each performance will be followed by expert commentary from noted Williams scholars. In addition, a series of video panels relating to the productions and an audio tour of St. Louis sites related to Williams will be available online.
The 2020 Tennessee Williams Festival takes place Nov. 5-15 and is free to anyone with internet access or a radio. For more information visit twstl.org. Thank you to PNC Foundation for their generous support that makes the Arts and Education Council's PNC Program Grants possible.
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Want more of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis? Take a look at the video we produced when they were recognized as the Arts Startup of the Year at the 2019 St. Louis Arts Awards to see the impact they’ve made in the community in just a few short years.