The 17th Annual New York International Fringe Festival presents EN AVANT! AN EVENING WITH Tennessee Williams-an acclaimed new play about the creative forces and demons behind the genius of playwright Tennessee Williams, written and performed by William Shuman-with performances set for August 9 (9:30pm), August 16 (3pm), August 17 (9:45pm), August 20 (4:45pm), August 23 (7:15pm) and August 24 (2pm) at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center's Kabayitos (107 Suffolk Street). Ruis Woertendyke directs.

EN AVANT! AN EVENING WITH Tennessee Williams began as a love letter to the genius that was Tennessee Williams and evolved into a play that affectionately, but honestly chronicles the life of this admittedly "wounded" man.

Warmly received by audiences in Florida, New York and Mexico, this play illuminates, in highly personal terms, the various factors that contributed to Williams's rise to the pantheon of the dramatic world. Over the past three plus years, actor and playwright William Shuman-working with renowned director Austin Pendleton and other extraordinary theater professionals-has created a work that is both entertaining and enlightening.

For six performances only, audiences will come to better understand Tennessee Williams, the man and the artist. Theatergoers will glimpse the impact of his family, follow the development of his early works, come to know his most important lovers, and sense the immensity of his demons.

Actor and playwright William Shuman made his NY stage debut in 1977 in Charles Dyer's Rattle of a Simple Man, having first appeared on stage in Boston as the Gentleman Caller in Northeastern University's production of The Glass Menagerie. Other stage credits include Terrence McNally's Witness, Charles Dizenzo's The Last Straw, Anouilh's Antigone, and Ionesco's The Bald Soprano. His film work includes Simon Nuchtern's "Silent Madness," Roger Corman's "Street Walkin'," John Murray's "A Place Called Accident," Maciek Albrecht's "Closer to You," and Adam Buncher's "Hole in the Wall."
In Florida, Shuman has appeared as DR. Martin Dysart in Peter Shaffer's Equus, the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show, and multiple roles in a presentation of T.S. Elliot's Murder in the Cathedral. He also appeared with his son Alan Shuman on the Internet program The Asylum. During the 1980s, he was seen frequently on the daytime drama, "All My Children."
Shuman is a founding member of New York's Abingdon Theatre Company, which produced his play, The Most Important American Playwright Since Tennessee Williams, and presented readings of Retirement Tango, Taking Selma's Car, Seat of Knowledge and The Hibaku Piano.

EN AVANT! AN EVENING WITH Tennessee Williams was first produced in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and has been presented subsequently at several other venues in Florida. It was presented in New York City as part of the Abingdon Theatre Company's Sunday Series and in Rosarito Del Mar in Baja California, Mexico.

Director Ruis Woertendyke has been involved in the theater for nearly 50 years as a director, playwright, and actor. He has directed more than 100 shows including an early production in New York of Peter Handke's Offending the Audience, the premier of Gunter Grass's The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising, and Mister, Mister also by Gunter Grass. He has directed Chekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare, Euripides, as well as many original plays. He authored the highly successful acting program at Pace University.

The New York International Fringe Festival, now in its 17th year, is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 17 days in more than 20 venues. FringeNYC runs August 9-25, 2013.

Material of Tennessee Williams is presented with the kind permission of the University of the South, Sewannee, Tennessee.

Performances of William Shuman's EN AVANT! AN EVENING WITH Tennessee Williams run, as part of the 17th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, August 9 (9:30pm), August 16 (3pm), August 17 (9:45pm), August 20 (4:45pm), August 23 (7:15pm) and August 24 (2pm) at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center's Kabayitos (107 Suffolk Street). General admission tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available, beginning July 19, online at www.fringenyc.org or call 866-468-7619. No latecomers are admitted at FringeNYC.

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