Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Lineup Announced for 2016 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

The 2016 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is set to be held from Friday, April 1st through Sunday, April 3rd. Scroll down to see the full list of events, as well as additional April performances!

Festival Weekend: Friday, April 1 at 8 P.M. (Opening Night), Saturday, April 2 at 8 P.M., and Sunday, April 3 at 8 P.M.

Tickets for Festival Weekend are purchased through the TW/NOLF box o?ce. Additional Performances: April 8 - April 17. To purchase tickets for post Festival shows: or by calling: 504-264-2580.

He Knew He Would Say It-But Could He Believe It Again? is a music and theater event created from the writings of Tennessee Williams. Music has always been a part of Tennessee Williams' work, whether in underscoring or actual song. The cadence of his words suggest music-especially his poetry. He Knew He Would Say It was created from Williams' poems, fragments of his plays, and journal entries, including unpublished material. Rob Kendt brings an eclectic style of contemporary music to this piece about the search for love between men. Williams was a romantic, and it was the pursuit of love in which Williams believed-more than its possession. This is not a love story, but love finally manages to be the hero. Arranged and performed by Zachary Clause and Jeremy Lawrence; music by Rob Kendt; directed by Michael Bush. Presented through special arrangement with Sewanee: The University of the South. Visit this link for a special preview of this great event!

Location: Le Petit Theatre, 616 Saint Peter Street.Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 2:30 P.M.

Tickets are $25 through the TW/NOLF box office.

Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1 at 1 P.M.: "Something Unspoken"

In this play, which debuted Off-Broadway in 1958 as a part of the "Garden District" double bill of one-acts, Williams directly explores the nature of queer desire, a theme on the fringes of his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In our Festival's staged reading at the elegant Gallier House, Brenda Currin will take on the role of Cornelia while Beth Bartley will play Grace. Directed by Paul J. Willis.

Location: Gallier House, $20. Tickets here.

Thursday, March 31 at 3 P.M.: Kissed by Tennessee

A Writing and Performance Workshop with Lisa D'Amour and Kathy Randels. In this workshop, these two long time collaborators will lead us in some writing and performance prompts based on the moment you were "kissed by Tennessee!" There will be opportunities to write, move or both! Bring a notebook or laptop.

Location: Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, $25. Tickets here.

Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 P.M.: Tennessee's Got Talent

In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we are bringing back this fan favorite in a new and improved format. Join us for an evening of 10-minute theatrical offerings inspired by or directly from the Williams canon. This year we're doing away with the competition element of this event in favor of simply celebrating the rich theatrical talent of our regional actors. Hosted by David Hoover and coordinated by Beau Bratcher.

Location: Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, $25. Tickets here.

Sunday, April 3 at 11 A.M.: Staged Reading of the 2016 Festival One-Act Play Contest Winner

The Festival is proud to showcase the winning play of this year's One-Act Play Contest through a dynamic staged reading of the script. The winner receives a $1,500 cash prize. This event is presented by the University of New Orleans Department of Film, Theatre, and Communication Arts.

Location: Hotel Monteleone, La Nouvelle Ballroom, Festival Panel Pass or $10 at the door.

Sunday, April 3 at 1 P.M.: Vieux Carre- On Stage and Behind the Scenes

Come and enjoy this sneak peek of Swine Palace's upcoming production of Vieux Carre as they present a pastiche from the play followed by an interactive discussion about the process of bringing this Williams treasure to life. Directed by George Judy.

Location: Hotel Monteleone, La Nouvelle Ballroom, Festival Panel Pass or $10 at the door.

Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 P.M.: How Not "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Enjoy selected scenes and conversation with long-time Festival participants Perry Martin and Karissa Kary. In this presentation, these co-founders of the Bayou Playhouse will showcase select scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird. Please come and enjoy this discussion about the pitfalls and possibilities of mounting a classic for new audiences.

Location: Hotel Monteleone, La Nouvelle Ballroom, Festival Panel Pass or $10 at the door.

World Premiere of Tennessee's Weird Tales

The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans in conjunction with the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival presents Tennessee Williams: Weird Tales-world premiere productions of "The Strange Play" and "Ivan's Widow," with "Steps Must Be Gentle." Fantasy abounds in this trio of one-acts. "Ivan's Widow" (c. 1982) is the story of young woman who can't face her husband's death and turns to a psychotherapist whose intentions are not entirely benign. In "The Strange Play" (c. 1939) a woman's entire life flashes before our eyes as a macabre spectacle in a French Quarter courtyard. "Steps Must Be Gentle" (c. 1980), features poet Hart Crane and his mother Grace returning from the dead to spar one last time at the bottom of the ocean. *The opening night performance on April 1 includes a champagne toast and all audience members receive a commemorative show poster signed by the cast. Co-Directed by Augustin J Correro and Nick Shackleford.

Location: Metropolitan Community Church, 6200 St. Charles Avenue at Henry Clay Avenue. Streetcar accessible.

Southern Rep Presents Orpheus Descending

In Tennessee Williams' re-imagining of the Orpheus myth, enigmatic young musician Val arrives in a backwards Southern town with his guitar, a snakeskin jacket, and a mysterious past. His fiery romance with Lady, a passionate older woman with a dying husband and secrets of her own, ignites a chain of events that reveals the hypocrisy and brutality of the community. Orpheus Descending is a Southern Gothic fable that stands with the author's greatest work, which The New Statesman called "a potent mixture of violence, sweetness, anguish, and desire." Directed by Jef Hall-Flavin featuring Irene Glezos, Beth Bartley, and Brenda Currin. Produced by Southern Rep Theatre in partnership with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in collaboration with Beth Bartley/Irene Glezos Productions.

Get tickets at: or 504-522-6545. Shuttle transportation between the Hotel Monteleone and performance venue will be available for purchase through Southern Rep Theatre for performances during the Festival. Space is limited. Call Southern Rep for details.

Location: University of New Orleans, Robert E. Nims Theatre, 2000 Lakeshore Drive.

Festival Weekend: March 31 - April 2 at 8 P.M. with a matinee performance on Sunday, April 3 at 3 P.M. Additional Performances: March 12 - March 27. Previews March 9 - 11.

Sponsor Spotlight: Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, originally organized in 1916, moved into its current home at 616 Saint Peter Street in the French Quarter in 1922. Le Petit is one of the oldest community theaters in the country. A recent renovation added Tableau, a restaurant run by the famous Brennan Group, to the Le Petit building, which ensures that theatergoers can have a unique and memorable New Orleans experience. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, Le Petit has been a partner of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival since the very first Festival in 1987. Le Petit was the home base for most events during the early Festivals, and continues to serve as the site for some of our most beloved and anticipated programming. Throughout the 2016 30th Anniversary Festival, Le Petit will be the host for several theatre productions and exciting special events.

Le Petit Presents The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie marked a crucial turning point in American theater, and forever changed the life of its then-un-known author. Williams' elegiac masterpiece brought a radical new lyricism to Broadway-the tragedy, fragility, and tenderness of this "memory play" has made it one of America's most powerful, timeless, and compelling works of theater. Renowned for its vivid characters, exquisitely written dialogue, and absorbing story, The Glass Menagerie promises to move, to entrance and to dazzle. Produced by Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Directed by Maxwell Williams.

Location: Le Petit Theatre, 616 Saint Peter Street. Tickets: or call 504-522-2081.

Festival Weekend: March 31 - April 2 at 7:30 P.M. with a matinee performance on Sunday, April 3 at 3 P.M. Additional Performances:March 18 through March 27. For the weekends prior to the Festival, Le Petit is offering a discount to TW/NOLF attendees. Please use or mention discount code TWF25GO when placing order for these weekends.

Additional Festival Events at Le Petit

Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 P.M.: Badham, Bragg, and Tennessee

Mary Badham, of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird fame, will be guest of honor at our Festival Opening, joining Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg on stage for an interview at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré. $25. Tickets here.

Friday, April 1 at 11 A.M..: Wit and Wrath: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker

Written and performed by Claudia Baumgarten; directed by Diana Shortes; musical accompaniment by Lulu. "I lost my virginity for fear of being rude."-Dorothy Parker. $25.

Related Articles View More New Orleans Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You