Tennessee Williams Symposium October 27 with Sneak Preview of Williams Documentary
By: Ellis Nassour
A Tennessee Williams symposium and fundraiser for the completion of Karen Kohlhaas’ documentary, Tennessee Williams in the Mississippi Delta: The Love of Things Irreconcilable will take place on October 27from 1-5:30 P.M. at the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Ninth Avenue studios. Seating is limited and admission is by registration only.
Here is the timetable for the day’s events and seminar:
1P.M.: Tennessee Williams: A Delta Introduction
Filmmaker Karen Kohlhaas will discuss the combination of historical, social, and personal forces that Williams forged into some of the greatest plays in the American theater lexicon. She will present film clips and photographs from her documentary-in-progress, showing little-known connections between the Mississippi Delta’s history and Williams’ most famous characters, plays, and settings. She’ll discuss the inspirations for Blanche, Stella, Brick, Baby Doll and more. In addition, she’ll describe a visit to the real Moon Lake and Moon Lake Casino in Clarksdale, MS, which is said to be haunted by the ghosts of four Williams’ characters, including Skipper and Sebastian, killed off before their plays begin.
2:15 P.M.: The Sounds of the Delta
Speech teacher Susan Finch will give a Mississippi Delta accent class for all, using dialogue from Williams’ well-known Mississippi Delta characters.
This will be followed by a half-hour discussion break.
3:45 P.M.: The Delta Goes to Hollywood
Williams historian Thomas Keith will speak on the Hollywood movies made from three Williams plays that are set in, or influenced by the Delta: Baby Doll, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
5 P.M.: Scene Presentation
Actors Perri Yaniv and Melinda Grace will present a scene from his play written when he was 26 and which contains the seeds of many of his future plays, Spring Storm, set in the Mississippi Delta.
Four annual Tennessee Festivals attract thousands of fans of the playwright along with educators and actors. They are: Tennessee Williams Literary Fes
tival, late March, New Orleans; Tennessee Williams Tribute, early September, Columbus, MS [Williams’ birthplace]; Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, late September, Provincetown, MA; and Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival, October, Clarksdale, MS.
Admission for the symposium and fundraiser for the documentary Tennessee Williams in the Mississippi Delta: The Love of Things Irreconcilable is $50, payable in advance at events@TennWmsDelta.com. The Atlantic Theater studios are at 76 Ninth Avenue, Manhattan, between 15th and 16th Streets [original Port Authority Building].
Visit www.TennWmsDelta.com for more on Tennessee Williams and the Williams documentary. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.