Tennessee Williams Festival: September 26-29
at various locations throughout Provincetown Visit www.twptown.org for schedule and tickets
This year’s festival will present plays by Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima, perhaps Japan’s most provocative author. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until 1970, the year Mishima died.
The 2019 lineup will feature four plays by Williams alongside four plays by Yukio Mishima, produced and performed by artists from South Africa, Japan, New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Texas, Oregon, Cyprus, Chatham, and beyond.
The festival will also feature parties, post-show mixers, educational classes, and exclusive donor events throughout the four-day celebration.
This year’s shows include two world premieres: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers by Williams (directed by Natsu Onoda Power in the kamishibai style, with live-action drawing) and the short comedy Busu by Mishima, performed in back-to-back interpretations by director and choreographer Daniel Irizarry and Mishima scholar and performer Laurence Kominz.
Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater. Directed by Fred Abrahamse, the production will feature South African stage star Marcel Meyer and Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The festival will also present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse staged by director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Kominz.
The lineup also includes productions of And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens by Williams, The Lady Aoi by Mishima, and The Angel in the Alcove by Williams. The festival culminates in a special Sunday-only performance of The Black Lizard by Mishima, starring Yuhua Hamasaki, who appeared on last year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The festival will also host a new morning workshop series sharing the craft of Japanese theater arts. Taught by Elizabeth Dowd, Mark Oshima, Natsu Onoda Power, and Laurence Kominz, the workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), kamishibai (storytelling with drawings), kabuki (popular theater), and kyogen (traditional farce). The Workshop Pass provides access to these classes and to a curated set of performances.
Also new for 2019: patrons from New York can now travel directly to Provincetown for the festival on a round-trip charter bus. Festival passes, including the bus fare add-on, are now on sale at twptown.org.
The artwork for the 2019 festival draws from the psychedelic designs of Tadanori Yokoo, the legendary Japanese graphic designer and illustrator. Born in 1936, Yokoo is one of Japan’s most successful artists of the past century. He has graciously given the festival permission to adapt details of his graphic work to represent each show.