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Provincetown's Acclaimed Tennessee Williams Festival Puts Women Center Stage
Home » Breaking News » Provincetown's Acclaimed Tennessee Williams Festival Puts Women Center Stage

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - A special weekend honoring Tennessee Williams returns for its eighth year to America's First Destination with a provocative look at the celebrated playwright's presentation of women.


Each year since 2006, thousands of theater fans have made a pilgrimage to Provincetown, Mass., for a fresh and intriguing perspective on Williams plays, as performed by theater groups from across the country and around the world.


The nation's largest performing arts festival dedicated to Williams examines his work, life, evolving historical significance and the playwright's own connection to the area. Williams lived and wrote in Provincetown, which is considered both the nation's oldest continuous art colony and the birthplace of American Theater. Eugene O'Neil's first produced play, for instance, “Bound East For Cardiff,” was born in Provincetown in 1916.


This year's festival runs from September 26-29 and features seven Williams' plays along with works from five additional artists. The theme is: "50 percent Illusion: Tennessee Williams & Women," as brought to life through plays such as the classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”; “Curtains for a Gentleman” (a burlesque staging of a play written by young Tom Williams before he became 'Tennessee')”; “The Mutilated” (featuring cult film legend Mink Stole of John Waters' film fame and the legendary Penny Arcade); and, “Kingdom of Earth” (last year's runaway hit as staged by an acclaimed Cape Town, South African troupe.


Festival events also include a poetic comedy called “Pink Melon Joy” celebrating Gertrude Stein's portraits of women; a 60 minute 'Williams 101' lesson on the playwright with apropos insights about the festival's productions; and a "Mississippi Juke Joint" blues concert to add a soulful evening ending to the day's plays.


The Tennessee Williams event has long been one of the highlights of Provincetown's Second Summer season, when the cool breezes, crisp blue skies and laid-back atmosphere make for one of the finest times to visit. Shops, galleries and restaurants have their doors open to the sidewalks, as vacationers and locals stroll casually throughout town enjoying the natural beauty and charm of this haven at the tip of Cape Cod.