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Conversations With Tennessee

  • The Dark Room 3610 Grandel Square St. Louis, MO, 63108 United States (map)

All Panel Discussions are moderated by Thomas Mitchell. Located at The Dark Room and the Grandel Theatre

9:00AM: Progressive Politics in Williams’ St. Louis

Gregory S. Carr and Melissa Wolfe

Williams came of age in the politically, socially, and racially radical 1930s.  What can be learned from understanding the artists, writers, and activists who were centered at Franklin and Grand 80 years ago?

10:00AM: Tennessee in Mexico: The Playwright as Tourist

David Kaplan, Tim Ocel, Nisi Sturgis, and Michael Wilson

From the early years of his career, Williams traveled to Mexico as a retreat from the pressures of his professional life. What does his writing tell us about the influence of Mexican culture in work like The Night of the Iguana?

11:00AM: Why Tennessee? Why Now?

Sophia Brown, David Kaplan, Joan Lipkin, and Michael Wilson

Tennessee Williams lived in St. Louis 85 years ago. Why do productions of his work continue? How do audiences experience the plays today? A group of artistic leaders discuss how and why Williams merits a festival in the city he once called home.

3:00PM: An Open Discussion on Respect and Representation

Gregory S. Carr, Rayme Cornel, Jesse Munoz, Carl Overly, and Jennifer Wintzer

At a time when society has become extremely divided and distrustful, issues of representation are demanding the attention of theatre producers. How can we be respectful of cultural differences and also explore aspects of human experience that transcend them?  Williams situated Night of the Iguana in 1940s Mexico where displaced Americans, Baptist schoolteachers, and Nazis crowd out native youths.  Can we get to the truths Williams was after amidst the cultural collision?

Earlier Event: May 10
Dear Mr. Williams
Later Event: May 11
A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur