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-famous playwright who made New Orleans his home during one of the most creative periods in his life. From March 27-March 31, 2019 the event will take place at venues around the French Quarter featuring some incredible speakers, contests and special celebratory events. You won’t want to miss this unique event!
Tennessee Williams Speakers
The festival is assembling some of the top playwrights, authors, actors, and speakers to sit on over 30 literary panels, provide 8 master classes with other published authors and over a dozen theatrical performances of original works submitted to the festival.
This year’s speakers include:
Bernice L. McFadden
Anne Boyd Rioux
and many more!
Tennessee Williams Events and Contests
A number of other special events are scheduled as well, including musical events and various food events.
There will be several walking tours throughout the week to showcase the literary heritage of New Orleans and the French Quarter.
Various Writer's Craft Sessions are avalilable for those interested in learning from professionals. There are also contests offering cash prizes including a poetry, fiction and one-act play contest. Finalists are announced in late February and congratulated with their prizes at the festival.
And, of course, no Tennessee Williams Festival would be complete without the “Stella!” shouting contest held in the French Quarter. Hopeful winners, usually attired in Stanley Kowalski-style sleeveless undershirts, will compete to shout the most plaintive and convincing appeal to the judges on the balcony of the Pontalba Apartments on Jackson Square. This is one fun event you won’t want to miss. And, in the interests of fairness, women contestants are allowed to shout “Stanley!” This free event begins at 4pm on Sunday, March 31, however, it fills up hours before the action starts so, if you’re planning to attend it, arrive early and stake out your space.
For an insider's guide on what to check out, see here.