CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Begins Tonight at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater
Real life husband and wife Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon play the classic couple 'Big Daddy' and 'Big Mama' in Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize Winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at this year's TW Festival, 50% Illusion: Tennessee Williams and Women, in an upcoming production from the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT).
Since starring in the classic 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey", Dullea has starred in both films and plays. He's especially excited to play 'Big Daddy' in this production because he played 'Brick,' Big Daddy's son, in the 1974 Broadway production with Elizabeth Ashley and Fred Gwynne. "Gwynne was magnificent as Big Daddy," Dullea says. "He inspired me to want to play that role. His voice rings in my ears today. I'll be reaching deep to find that voice within myself."
Mia Dillon won a Tony nomination for her role as 'Babe' in the original 1981 Broadway play Crimes of the Heart. She has had a very strong presence in the theater world, starring in such shows as Our Town with Paul Newman, Da, and Agnes of God among others.
Dillon sees 'Big Mama' as deeply in love with her husband and riding an emotional roller coaster from elation as she believes he is cured of cancer, to despair as she discovers he's dying. Dillon appreciates that the genius of Williams' poetic writing gives her the chance as an actor "to explore deep emotions in the safe place of the stage."
Dullea and Dillon have been married 15 years and have enjoyed performing together often. Soon after they met while reading Selected Shorts for NPR, they played together in Noel Coward's Private Lives. Right after they were married, they toured in Death Trap, in which Keir's character killed Mia's off every night. Most recently they both appear in the film"Isn't it Delicious."
Director Elizabeth Falk has also cast newcomers Madeleine Lambert as 'Maggie' and 'Steven De Marco' as Brick. Like Williams, Falk was born in the South, and she is especially sensitive to the musicality of his writing. "Even punctuation is important to capturing the music. It must be honored to get the sound Williams wanted to hear."
Falk has directed 64 productions of drama, musical theatre and opera at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Off-Broadway, as well as in many overseas countries. She was the first woman to ever direct at Shakespeare's Globe London.
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is the nation's largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding the understanding of American's great playwright. Festival Curator David Kaplan says, "The plays in this year's program reveal how Williams' changed his depictions of women as women's roles changed in society. In Cat on a Hot Roof, Williams reverses the sexual roles he assigned in A Streetcar Named Desire. Brick takes on Blanche Dubois's drinking problem and her haunting by a dead pretty boy. Maggie's as much a fighter as Stanley Kowalski."
In the town where Williams worked on many of his major plays, theater artists from around the globe perform classic and innovative productions to celebrate his enduring influence in the 21st Century. "Our contemporary artists surprise and delight audiences by reinterpreting Williams' works in new ways," says Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin. "Our audiences discover that Williams was often ahead of his time in his experimental work."
The Festival takes place in various venues in the seaside village of Provincetown from tonight, September 27 through Sunday, September 29, 2013. It is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Provincetown Cultural Council and presented by the Crown and Anchor. For more information and tickets, go to www.twptown.org