Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare
at various locations throughout Provincetown
Visit www.twptown.org for schedule and tickets
A Hamlet from South Africa performed in a shallow tank of water on Fisherman’s Wharf. An outdoor adaptation of Camino Real from Ghana. Pericles staged on board the Rose Dorothea fishing schooner inside the Provincetown library. These are just a few of the shows that make up the 12th Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival taking place in various locations throughout Provincetown September 21-24.
This year’s Festival presents plays by Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare, the two great poet playwrights of the English language. Over four days, audiences will experience Williams and Shakespeare productions from across the globe side by side, offering a new understanding of both playwrights.
Says Festival Curator David Kaplan, “both writers mastered their craft while living in turbulent times. For Shakespeare, the death of his only son in the year the queen of England died; for Williams, the death of his long-time lover in the year the president died.”
Kaplan adds that “water returns as an image of instability in the plays of both writers – tears, sweat, a fountain, the river Nile, and the Gulf of Mexico. Both have twenty more years to live, and in that score of years their plays upended conventional ideas of what was farce and what was tragedy in a world for them turned as suddenly unstable as a ship in a storm.”
In addition to Hamlet by Cape Town’s Abrahamse-Meyer Productions, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real by the National Theatre of Ghana, and Pericles by Philadelphia’s DieCast, this year’s program also includes: Abrahamse-Meyer’s Sweet Bird of Youth starring South African film and stage star Fiona Ramsay; the 2017 Hotel Plays staged throughout various rooms of the historic Gifford House by Providence’s Spectrum Theatre Ensemble; and a fusion of Shakespeare’s clowning and Williams’ grotesque humor called Dumb Show & Noise featuring professional clown Jay Stewart.
Rounding out the Festival are the Williams one-act The Gnädiges Fräulein from Texas Tech University, directed by Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin, and a special Sunday performance of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, directed by Kaplan with an international cast including Robertson Dean, Marcel Meyer, TC Meltem from the National Theater of Turkey, AB Abenyi from the National Theater of Ghana, and the legendary Everett Quinton from New York City’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
The Festival also features educational classes, parties, donor events and musical events throughout the four-day celebration.