Tony Award-winning The Rose Tattoo Announced as Main Stage Production, Preview on May 7


ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The multi-award-winning Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis proudly announces its Fifth Annual Festival for Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 17, 2020, headlining The Rose Tattoo. A preview performance of the play is set for Thursday, May 7, with May 8 as the official opening night. There will be more than a dozen separate elements, scheduled so that attendees may attend every one during the eleven-day run, all held in the Grand Center Arts District and on The Hill.


The theme of the 2020 Festival is “Tennessee Williams & Italy.” Williams frequently traveled to Italy, recalling in his Memoirs: “As soon as I crossed the Italian border, my health and my life seemed to be magically restored. There was the sun and there were the smiling Italians.” He wrote to his grandfather, “It is difficult to tear myself away from Italy which is the nearest to heaven that I have ever been, the people so friendly, gentle and gracious and the days so tranquil and sunny.”


In that spirit the Festival will mount a stunning production of The Rose Tattoo, set in a resilient community of Sicilian immigrants on the Gulf Coast near New Orleans.


Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk has consulted extensively with our region’s Italian-American community to ensure their engagement and to provide authenticity.


Festival highlights include:


▪ Williams’ Tony award-winning masterpiece The Rose Tattoo, which is currently enjoying a triumphant revival on Broadway. The Rose Tattoo will be staged at The Grandel Theatre.


▪ A new collection of Williams’ one-act plays, The St. Louis Rooming House Plays, will provide an immersive experience in Grand Center’s historic Stockton House, where audience members will move from room to room and play to play. Previous versions of this remarkable theatrical experience have been some of the hardest-to-get tickets in town.

▪ An academic series, “Tennessee Williams and his Midwest Experiences,” will bring noted scholars and historians from around the world to discuss how Williams’ life in the Midwest influenced his later life and his works. As audience members will see, his life events in the Midwest permeate his works, and are even directly relevant to his Italian experiences.


▪ A variety of special events including: Tennessee Williams Bus Tour; La Dolce Vita Pool Party at the Last Hotel (formerly the International Shoe Company where Tennessee Williams worked); a staged reading of Glass (which imagines what transpired between Tennessee Williams and lead actress Laurette Taylor on the opening night of The Glass Menagerie) by Michael Aman; Amor Perdido, composed of Williams works that are new to the stage, from the University of Illinois; screenings of Italian-themed The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Boom; “TW Jam”, a late-night jam of poetry, monologues and music; “Tennessee Williams Tribute” at Guido’s on The Hill; the “Williams Playwriting Initiative;” panels, parties, conversation, and much more.


“We are proud that, in five years, the Tennessee Williams Festival has become one of St. Louis’ most widely attended and anticipated cultural events,” said Houk, the Festival’s founder. “Last year, our attendance soared and we were showered with awards. In our fifth season, we aspire to go even further.”


Lead sponsorship of the festival is provided by Emerson. The Festival is also funded in part by Mary Strauss, Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, The Whitaker Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Humanities Council, Trio Foundation of St Louis and the Arts and Education Council.


Tickets will go on sale March 1 through Metrotix and at the Fox box office.


For more information, including parking, food, hotels, etc., please contact Helene Estes at info 'at' For media inquiries, please contact Marla Stoker Ballenger at marla 'at' or at (314)-997-5525.





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