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While there are no travel restrictions to New Orleans due to the Covid-19, out of an abundance of caution and consideration for staff, vendors, performers, and guests, the Tennessee Williams Festival has decided to cancel this year’s event. Please check the event website for details and updated information.
Tennessee Williams Festival 2020 | New Orleans
The streetcar he made famous stopped running 69 years ago, but the festival named in his honor has been running continuously for over a quarter of a century. The annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is named after the world-renowned playwright who made New Orleans his home during one of the most creative periods in his life.
The 2020 Tennessee Williams Festival takes place March 25-29 with a host of events taking place across the Crescent City. The fest features a lineup of incredible speakers, contests and special celebratory events that you won’t want to miss.
Tennessee Williams Fest Speakers
Each year, the Tennessee Williams Fest invites some of the city’s most celebrated playwrights, authors, linguists, professors, poets and more to participate in the festival’s lineup of unique programming. This year is no exception. Festgoers can expect appearances by:
Alys Arden - Bestselling author of The Casquette Girls series
Cheryl Gerber - Documentary photographer
Tom Andes - Co-founder of the New Orleans Writers Workshop
Jewelle Gomez - playwright, novelist, poet, and cultural worker
Alex Myers - novelist, teacher, and transgender rights advocate
Plus many more. For a full list of 2020 speakers, their bios and events they will be featured in, visit HERE.
Tennessee Williams Festival Events
The five-day festival features a robust and interactive schedule of programming throughout New Orleans that is open to the public. 2020 events include:
Writer’s Craft Series
Intimate sessions featuring award-winning authors and literary lovers. Guests will have the opportunity to chat with and learn from some of their favorite authors. The 75-minute sessions will also include book signings and Q&As.
Literary Discussion Series
The series will touch on a wide variety of topics led by writers, publishers, scholars, and other literary professionals.
In honor of the renowned playwright that Tennessee Williams was, it is only fitting that the festival includes a selection of theater performances. Festgoers can participate in anything from full-features to one-acts, staged readings and theater workshops. Confirmed performances include:
Southern Rep will present Reykjavik by Steve Yockey.
The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans will present In the Bar of A Tokyo Hotel by Tennessee Williams.
Beaubourg Theatre Company will present The End of the Beginning, a program of two Tennessee Williams’ short plays: The Demolition Downtown and The Chalky White Substance, directed by David Williams.
And more to be added!
Special Events + Programming
In addition to their scheduled series and performances, the Tennessee Williams Festival also presented a number of special events and programming such as:
Opening Night – held the Wednesday night of the Festival as a kickoff event, usually featuring theater, literary, and/or musical performances.
Books and Beignets- book club discussion held on the Saturday morning of the Festival at Muriel’s Jackson Square. This year’s focus is Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
Culinary Events – featuring recent cookbooks and samples.
Annual Tennessee Williams Tribute Reading, featuring the biggest names of the Festival all on one stage sharing excerpts from Williams’ plays, stories, poetry, letters, and journal entries.
Drummer and Smoke – music event held on the Sunday of the Festival featuring New Orleans-area musicians in performance at the Palm Court Jazz Café
Plus, celebrity interviews, special performances, writing marathon, and our annual Stella Shouting Contest!
Learn more about the full event line up, and check back for this year’s event schedule HERE.
Tennessee Williams Festival Tickets
Tickets to the festival vary by event. Most events range between $10-25. Combo and VIP passes, which include entry to a number of events and programming, are also available. Learn more ticket packages and pricing HERE.