The streetcar he made famous stopped running 62 years ago but the festival named in his honor has been running continuously for nearly a quarter of a century. The annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival takes place each spring in New Orleans and is named after the world-famous playwright who made New Orleans his home during one of the most creative periods in his life.
Each year, the festival assembles some of the top playwrights, authors, actors, and speakers to sit on literary panels and provide master classes with other published authors and theatrical performances of original works submitted to the festival. There are also contests offering cash prizes up to $1,500. A number of other special events are typically scheduled, as well, as are various “Food Events” featuring some of the city’s top chefs.
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, 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!”