3rd Annual Festival

Tennessee Williams:
The French Quarter Years

May 10–19, 2018

Main Stage Production

“A Streetcar Named Desire”

May 10–19
Grandel Theatre

The Dark Room at the Grandel will feature late night jazz following each evening performance.

“A Streetcar Named Desire,” one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved plays in the history of American theater, is the story of a troubled former schoolteacher, Blanche DuBois, after she leaves a small town in Mississippi and moves in with her sister (Stella) and her sister’s husband (Stanley) in New Orleans. With her flirtatious Southern-belle attitude, Blanche upends the precarious relationship between her sister and brother-in-law, leading to even greater conflict during her brief stay.  

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1948), the original Broadway cast included Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter. Two years later, Laurence Olivier directed the London premiere starring Vivien Leigh and Bonar Colleano. In 1951, the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire” won four Academy Awards with the reprisal cast of Brando, Hunter, Leigh and Malden. Opera, ballet and TV adaptations of the play are continuously produced worldwide. LEARN MORE→

One-Man Show by Jacob Storms

“Tennessee Rising”

May 11–13
.Zack Theatre

To the masses he is a legend in the pantheon of the American stage and screen who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, fully formed in 1945.

But just how did this young poet, Thomas Lanier Williams III, born in Columbus Mississippi, raised in St. Louis, go on to become the playwright who created Amanda and Laura, Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois, Maggie The Cat, Big Daddy and his greatest, most unexplored role, Tennessee Williams?

This is what “Tennessee Rising” sheds light upon.

Panel Discussions

“Tennessee Williams: The French Quarter Years”

May 12 at 10 a.m.
Grandel Theatre

Moderator David Kaplan, curator and co-founder of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, has staged Williams’ plays worldwide, including a collection of one-acts at the Stockton House for the 2016 Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. A collection of his essays written during the last decade was published in 2015, “Tenn Years: Tennessee Williams On Stage.” He is also the author of “Tennessee Williams in Provincetown” and the author of two series of theater textbooks: “Five Approaches to Acting and Shakespeare,” “Shamans, and Show Biz” (Hansen Publishing Group). He is the editor of “Tenn at One Hundred,” a comprehensive look at Williams’ evolving reputation.

“A Streetcar Named Desire”

May 12 at 11 a.m.
Grandel Theatre

Moderator Henry Schvey, professor of Drama and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis since 1987, has lectured on Tennessee Williams both in the U.S. and abroad, and has published numerous essays on Williams. He is currently working on two projects: one about Tennessee Williams’ conflicted history with St. Louis, and the other a study of Williams’ paintings and their relationship to his plays. His most recent publication is a study of the influence of D.H. Lawrence upon Williams titled, “After the Fox” (Tennessee Williams Annual Review, 2018). His coming-of-age memoir, “The Poison Tree,” was published in 2016.

Staged Reading

“Interior: Panic” 

May 19 at 11 a.m.
Grandel Theatre

“Interior: Panic” is Williams’ stunning one-act precursor to “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

As he did with many plays, Williams experimented with various approaches in style, setting, and characterization.  Blanche, Stanley, and Stella have different names but similar relationships. In this short version, Williams focuses on Blanche/Shannon’s disordered mental state: hearing voices, imagining dangers, fabricating reality. Set in a rundown, shotgun cottage in New Orleans, the play features weird voices and disturbing images. “Interior: Panic” seems to be the playwright’s expression of his sister Rose’s psychic deterioration.  Director Tom Mitchell, Associate Head of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will introduce the little-known Williams gem performed with scripts-in-hand on the set of “Streetcar.”

The French Quarter Rooming House Plays

July 12-22
The Stockton House

Details to be announced in early summer.

Performance Schedule


Individual Tickets

Tickets to the 2018 Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis will be available March 1 at MetroTix. Prices vary by program, follow the link for more information and to purchase tickets.

"A Streetcar Named Desire"

  • Premium: $45
  • House: $35
  • Student: $25

Panel Discussions

  • $10

"Tennessee Rising"

  • $25