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New Orleans: Tennessee Williams literary festival celebrates centennial of author's birth

March 06, 2011|By Jay Jones | Special to The Times
  • This red brick apartment house in New Orleans' French Quarter is where playwright Tennessee Williams once lived, and where he wrote "A Streetcar Named Desire."
This red brick apartment house in New Orleans' French Quarter is where… (Jay Jones / For The Times )

There will be 100 candles on the cake, at least figuratively, as the centennial of the birth of playwright Tennessee Williams is celebrated in late March in New Orleans, his adopted hometown.

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival takes place March 23-27 at various venues in the Crescent City. Activities include stagings of “The Glass Menagerie” and “27 Wagons Full of Cotton.”

A bumper crop of lectures and panel discussions, both for theater fans and aspiring authors, is planned.  Among those scheduled to appear are critic Rex Reed and filmmaker John Waters.

Literary walking tours will include the French Quarter apartment house in which Williams wrote “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  The modern tragedy provides the inspiration for one of the festival’s lighter events:  a Stanley and Stella shouting contest.

For many, the highlight of the five-day event will come March 26, when attendees party in grand style on what would have been Williams’ 100th birthday.

Ticket info for the festival:  (800) 990-3378

-          Jay Jones

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