News and Events
We’re literary all year round! Find out what we’re up to, what we’re reading, and what’s going down in the New Orleans lit scene.
Back at the office, we’re tallying up everything that went into making it a truly memorable weekend. Here are a few of our Festival figures:
9,500+ audience seats filled at 29 panels, 17 theater performances, 7 special events, 8 master classes, 6 walking tours, the Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference, and writeNOW, our educational outreach program
150+ authors, thespians, musicians, chefs, and performers (including bounce dancers, burlesque performers, and a ukulele player)
150 invaluable volunteers who helped take tickets, sell concessions, register guests, and man the info desk and box office
44 generous sponsors and 185 Friends of Tennessee who keep the literary arts vibrant and accessible
25 raucous Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest contenders (Pictured above: Dewey Caddell, whose melancholy moans earned him the first place. Photo by Earl Perry.)
2,500 cups of Hendrick’s Gin cocktails consumed (Pictured right: (That delectable Night at the Iguana punch! Photo by Ride …
Top 3 Attended Literary Panel Discussions
New Orleans in 1920s: Bohemians, Baby Dolls, and Storyville
Writing New Orleans: the Most “Exotic” Place in America
Conversation with Michael Cunningham
Most Popular Master Classes
Scenes from a Screenwriter’s Notebook: John Patrick Shanley: Big Screen Stories
Resurrect the Past: Susan Straight: Mining History for Your Book
A Sense of Time and Place in Literary Fiction: Zachary Lazar: Mapping and Timing Narrative Space (Pictured right. Photo by Ride Hamilton.)
Overheard at the Festival
“#TWF13 Festival author (and 2013 fiction writing contest judge) Michael Cunningham talks marriage and divorce in his impromptu #SixWordStory http://ow.ly/jmezf”
“Heinz Heisl and Magdalena Kauz come all the way from Austria to pose with Tennessee! http://tinyurl.com/cy88qj5” (Pictured, right. Tennessee Williams courtesy of The Times-Picayune.)
“Don’t miss out on seeing literary rockstars like #TWF13 performers Bryan Batt, Harry Shearer, Michael Arata, and Cristine McMurdo-Wallis! Visit our Festival box office now! But in the meantime, check out this clip of Bryan Batt and Alison Fraser leaving the stage after their reading of ‘Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen…’ Thursday night. http://ow.ly/jlwR7”
“Ayana Mathis, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Susan Straight wave hello from the 2013 #TennesseeWilliams Festival! #TWF13 http://ow.ly/jlwu9”
“Between her starring roles at the #TWF13, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis enjoys the spirited sounds of Tanya and Dorsie on Royal St. http://tinyurl.com/bnct2bn”
“Her name is Moira Crone, and she’s here to tell you a #SixWordStory http://ow.ly/jj4hb”
Follow us on …
Local independent bookseller Garden District Book Shop offered Festival authors’ books for sale, along with special books about Louisiana and all things Tennessee. How many of these Festival best-sellers are on your nightstand? (Photo by Earl Perry.)
The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, Arielle Eckstut & David Henry Sterry
The “Baby Dolls”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, Kim Marie Vaz
The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, Manuel Gonzales
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis
Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 20′s, John Shelton Reed
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading, Maureen Corrigan
Shoot the Money, Chris Wiltz
Take the 2013 Festival Survey
Fill out our brief survey for a chance to win a free Stella-a-a! tank top.
7 Important Festival News Items
1. Every year, major stars gather to pay tribute to Tennessee. Join us for this year’s tribute, Tennessee Williams in Others’ Words. Among the presenters is Don Murray, the film icon who starred alongside Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop and worked with our namesake playwright himself.
2. Only A Paper Moon: A Tennessee Williams Songbook captures the soul of Tennessee and puts it to music. If you can’t make it to our Fundraiser Gala, you can still catch a performance of the songbook on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
3. Our 2013 Festival Raffle is offering a grand prize worth $2,000 – including a VIP All-Access Pass, a Swag Bag overflowing with concessions, and a 2013 Library of many of the books and authors featured at our Festival this year. All books will be autographed by authors, and all prize items will …
Revisit Tennessee’s French Quarter Stomping Grounds: Literary Walking Tours
New Orleans — and especially the French Quarter — played a very vital part in shaping Tennessee Williams. When he came here for the first time, he was Tom Williams. When he left here a couple months later, he was going as Tennessee, having undergone a tremendous change in his personal life and his creativity.
A man perpetually on the move, Tennessee considered this city his “spiritual home” and had at least eight residences in its famous neighborhoods. Revisit the homes and hangouts where he lived and worked and returned to throughout his adult life, beloved spots that helped to make Tennessee America’s greatest playwright.
Each Literary Walking Tour will start with an introduction by Dr. Kenneth Holditch. Read on for the days and times of our six Literary Walking Tours.
Event: Literary Walking Tour
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Tour meets in the Hotel Monteleone …
“STELLA-A-A-A!”: The Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest Returns!
That’s right, the Tennessee Williams Festival’s annual Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest is back for #TWF13! Read on for details on this very special event and our sponsor, Hendrick’s Gin, as well as footage from past contests and the Shouting Contest Practice videos on Vine!
Follow us on Vine, Instagram, and Twitter @TWFestNOLA
Check out our official Facebook page for updates throughout the Festival weekend
The 27th Annual Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest
Join the #TWF13 Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest and vie to rival Stanley Kowalski’s shout for “STELLAAAAA!!!” in the unforgettable scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. The most outrageous, unique, and convincing rendition wins! Shouters are also welcome to try a little role reversal and yell “STANLEYYYY!” instead. Whichever name you decide to shout, remember to bring your A-game because prizes will be awarded.
Date: Sunday March 24, 2013
Time: 4:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Jackson Square
Price: Free and open to the public
This event is made possible by the generous support of Hendrick’s Gin.
Sponsor Spotlight: Hendrick’s Gin
Hendrick’s is a most unusual Gin that has taken the world by storm since it was first introduced, thanks to its delightfully unique flavour, which combines a distinct blend of eleven botanicals, as well as the signature infusions of Cucumber and Rose petals, producing a wonderfully refreshing gin with a delightfully unique aroma. Hand crafted in Scotland in miniscule batches, Hendrick’s uses a marriage of spirits from a Carter-Head and Copper Pot Still, a combination produces a divinely smooth gin that has both the required character and balance of subtle flavours.
Since its induction in the US, Hendrick’s has gained widespread acclaim and received numerous awards, including a Double gold medal at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition; “Gin of the Year” at the Food and Wine Magazine Awards, and voted “World’s Best Gin” by the Wall Street Journal.
Check Out Our Shouts on Youtube and Vine
It’s no secret that our annual Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest features impassioned participants from around the country who take their shouting very seriously. Each year at the climax of the Festival the Stanley/Stella shouters resurrect the memory of Marlon Brando’s impassioned “STELLA-A-A-A!!” from the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire.
In celebration of this stellar event, we asked local New Orleanians to let us capture their best shouts in a Vine video, as practice for the 2013 contest. Read on for links to our “Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest Practice” clips, as well as YouTube videos from past contests. Remember, the competition gets stiffer with each passing year, so take a look at these clips to pick up a few pointers for the #TWF13 contest!
Follow us on Vine, Instagram, and Twitter (@TWFestNOLA) for video updates throughout the Festival weekend!
#TWF13 Shouting Contest Practice: Round 1 (Vine)
#TWF13 Shouting Contest Practice: Round 2 …
Cocktails and Conversation with Festival Author, Kit Wohl
Among the 2013 Festival’s many special events, is the Saturday afternoon discussion of classic New Orleans cocktails led by author Kit Wohl and mixologist Hadi Kitiri-Idrissi. Wohl, Festival speaker and author of the critically acclaimed Classic New Orleans cookbook series, will lend her culinary expertise to the 2013 Festival’s Saturday afternoon special event, “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon.”
Read on for more information about author Kit Wohl and details on this must-attend special event.
Special Event: “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon”
The 2013 Festival special event, “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon,” pairs critically acclaimed author Kit Wohl with mixologist Hadi Kitiri-Idrissi, to sample and discuss historic New Orleans beverages at Arnaud’s iconic French 75 Bar. Wohl will share from her latest book, New Orleans Classic Cocktails, which boasts over sixty recipes from absinthe cocktails to Tennessee Williams’ beverage of choice, the Sazerac.
Spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon sampling Old New Orleans Rum specialty drinks while listening to history, musings, and stories about the history of cocktails in New Orleans. For the price of admission, this special event also includes a signed copy of Wohl’s latest book, New Orleans Classic Cocktails.
Event: “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon”
Date: Saturday March 23, 2013
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, 813 Bienville
Ticket Type: Special Event
Price: $30, or included in All-Access Pass
Ticket Code: SippingSat130pm
Bryan Batt Reads at the Festival’s Thursday Night Event
Mad Men’s Bryan Batt will be performing at the Thursday night theater event “Those Rare Electrical Things Between People: Readings of Three One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams,” along with Harry Shearer, Alison Fraser, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, and Nell Nolan. Batt will be reading Tennessee Williams’ “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen…” alongside Alison Fraser.
Read on for a full description of the event, or peruse the 2013 Festival program for our selection of panel discussion, master class, and theater offerings.
Event: Those Rare Electrical Things Between People: Readings of Three One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams
Description: This year’s Festival kicks off with an entertaining trio of Tennessee Williams’s one-act gems. Written when the author was only 28, “The Palooka” is an age-old tale of youth and age in which an up-and-coming fighter comes face-to-face with his hero, and perhaps his …
Tennessee Returns! Actor Jeremy Lawrence as Tennessee Williams
Crowd favorite Jeremy Lawrence returns to the 2013 Festival to explore the character of our eponymous playwright, Tennessee Williams. The actor and writer has a knack for personifying cultural greats like Tennessee, and also appears as Albert Einstein. This year, Lawrence will lend his talents to two Festival theater events: “There’s No Way We Can’t Finally Win,” an exploration of Williams’ personality and career; and “Tennessee Williams in Others’ Words,” a piecing together of Williams’ life through the eyes of those who knew him best.
Read on for a full description of these events, or peruse the 2013 Festival program for our selection of panel discussion, master class, and theater offerings.
Event: There’s No Way We Can’t Finally Win
Description: A new exploration of Tennessee Williams, arranged and performed by Jeremy Lawrence, culled from essays, letters and his works, many unpublished, and mostly …
Experience Tennessee Williams’ “Auto-Da-Fe” Performed on a Live Set in the French Quarter
The annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is known for its stellar theater performances, and this year is no different. Tennessee Williams’ one-act, “Auto-Da-Fe,” has two scheduled showings during the Festival and uses the French Quarter itself as a set!
The term auto da fe refers to a ritual of public penance that took place during the Spanish Inquisition, which makes it that much more appropriate as the title of Tennessee Williams’ one-act which will be performed using the historic New Orleans French Quarter as a live – and very public – set.
Directed by Jef Hall-Flavin and starring Cristine McMurdo-Wallis and Ben Berry, “Auto-Da-Fe” brings to life the story of puritanical Eloi Duvenet, who is over 30 and still lives with his mother. We find the two of them squabbling on the balcony of their Vieux Carre boarding house as the …
Festival Offerings That Help You Get Published
Need help navigating the complex process of publishing your work? Take advantage of these 6 Festival offerings designed specifically to help you get published.
1. “The Art of Self-Publishing”
Description: Cornell Landry provides practical tips for the self-published author. A great class for those tired of the query cycle or for anyone who might have wondered what self-publishing is all about.
Event Type: Master Class
Instructor: Cornell Landry
Date: Thursday March 21
Time: 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Historic New Orleans Collection
Price: Single ticket ($25), or included in Master Class Full Series Pass ($175) or All-Access Pass ($500)
Ticket Code: MC-LandryTh9am
2. “The Art of the Debut: Writers on Their First Books”
Description: Panelists tell how they got their first fiction byline, ensnared their agents, won fellowships, maintained (or chucked) their day jobs and kept their sanity as they gained their bona fides as writers.
Event Type: Panel Discussion
Panelists: Manuel Gonzales, …
Get the Most Out of Your Festival Experience
Are you planning your Festival itinerary? Trying to decide which ticket types to buy? Want to score seats for those coveted wait-listed events? Consult our Sample Day at the Festival guide below to help make your choices. Plus, get a detailed explanation of ticket packages and a list of newly available events.
24 Hours of Tennessee: A Sample Day at the Festival
A five-day celebration of literature and Tennessee Williams is an exciting prospect, to be sure. But given this bevy of programming options, how does one decide which events to attend?
Fear not, Festival Fans, we have compiled a Sample Day at the Festival with suggestions on everything from panel discussions and master classes, to dining and after-hours venues. For our Sample Day, we chose Saturday, March 23rd, 2013. You, however, can browse the 2013 program and create your own Festival schedule. Read on to see how you can make the best of your Festival experience.
Day Four of the Festival: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
START AT THE BEGINNING
Start your morning with a hot cup of French Market Coffee in the place where locals say the French Quarter really begins: the Hotel Monteleone lobby. During your visit to the Crescent City, you will want to experience as …
Seats Now Available for Select Wait-Listed Events
Previously, we announced that a few of our limited-seating events were on hold. We are pleased to let you know that we now have tickets available for the following events:
Restaurant Scoop from the Virtual Gourmet with John Mariani: Friday, March 22nd at 5:30 PM
Ticket Code: RestaurFri530pm
Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon: Saturday, March 23rd at 1:30 P.M.
Ticket Code: SippingSat130pm
At Tennessee’s Table: Sunday, March 24th at 11:30 A.M.
Ticket Code: TableSun1130am
Only a limited number of tickets are available so buy your tickets now!