INTERVIEW: Tennessee Williams Festival Comes to Playhouse Creatures, June 22-24, 2017

The Tennessee Williams Festival will be occurring later this month, produced by Playhouse Creatures with director Scott F. Davis. We were fortunate enough to sit down with Scott to find out more about the exciting festival, running, June 22-24. The festival includes thought provoking discussions, jazz, poetry, and original works.

$10 each night
$25 for a 3-night pass

Get you tickets here! Check out our interview with Scott below!

What about the festival are you most excited about?

I am most excited to see the intersection of emerging theatrical artists reinterpreting the work of Williams and highly established theater makers discussing the impact of Williams on their craft. I believe we are in a time to re-examine the classic works in new and innovative settings that allow for alternative theatrical experiences to occur. 

What made you want to produce this festival?

This will be the 4th year of The Tennessee Williams Festival produced by Playhouse Creatures Theater Company. When I first became involved with the company in 2014, I was directing a staged reading of The Parade for The Tennessee Williams Festival that summer. I instantly became entranced by the programming and the artists involved. Since my first experience with the festival, I have continued to work with Playhouse Creatures as an Artistic Associate on several of their projects. This year I was named Festival Director by Producing Artistic Director Joseph Rodriguez. We discussed on continuing the mission of Playhouse Creatures of celebrating the work of Williams in as much of a variety as possible. We wanted to bring together people who have studied, directed, acted and have been inspired by the world of Williams. This mission has directly impacted the programming for the festival this summer.

How did you stumbled upon the artists involved?

I compiled a group of artists who have both worked with Playhouse Creatures/Williams before in order to create a festival team which includes my coordinators Dana Greenfield and Jade Ziane who are also directing one acts a part of the festival with me. We then all compiled 'wish lists' of theater makers we wanted to involve in our panel discussions as well as what kind of work of Williams we wanted to showcase this summer. From those meetings, I believe we have compiled a very exciting company of artists to present an entertaining and insightful festival.

How do you think Williams' works are relevant to today's theatre and culture?

The work of Williams' is still quite relevant as we can see revival after revival popping up in our commercial theatrical landscape left and right. His words as a prolific playwright transcends time period and allow for genuine resonating experiences in the theater. I believe he has also shaped numerous contemporary theater makers in numerous ways to then experiment with his text in new forms like The Scottish Ballet and their recent adaptation of Streetcar Named Desire or Mabou Mines newest work, Glass Guignol
The Brother and Sister Play which explores the expansive textual world of Williams. 

What can people expect when attending the festival this week?

They can expect a fun night of jazz, poetry readings, panel discussions and performances of one acts by Williams. This combination will be an inviting and interesting night that will keep you on your toes.

What are you hoping audiences take away from attending the festival?

A greater understanding of Williams and his impact on the current theatrical climate. 

Can you enjoy this festival if you are unfamiliar with Williams' work?

Yes! I think the festival offers a really fun evening regardless of your knowledge of the playwright. This festival is also an opportunity for people to meet other theatrical artists in the community and learn more about the important work that Playhouse Creatures is currently producing.

Festival Schedule:

Thursday, June 22: 
6:00-7:00pm- Conversation with Michael Wilson (director) and Jeff Cowie (designer), moderated by Travis Lemont Ballenger of The Drama League. 

7:00-8:00pm- Jazz and Williams Poetry, curated by Bessie Nellis- and, "wine time."

8:00-9:00pm- A Tennessee Triptych, presentations of: "The Chalky White Substance," directed by Jade Ziane, "Why Do You Smoke So Much, Lily?," directed by Dana Greenfield, and, "Ivan's Widow," directed by Scott Davis (also, Festival Director).

Friday, June 23rd:
Conversation with a SPECIAL guest

Saturday, June 24th:
A conversation with playwrights Paola Lazaro, Anne Garcia-Romero, Nicole Pandolfo, and Maren Lavelle. Morgan Jeness will moderate this discussion of the struggles women dramatists face bringing their work to the stage.

Get you tickets here!

Trevor Chauvin