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Toasting Tennessee Williams
March 17, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm$35
* Is LGBTQ hosted
* Has LGBTQ content
* May be of interest to the LGBTQ community
Join StageQ for this exclusive private celebration of Tennessee Williams at the magnificent Mendota Lake House B&B. Sharing drinks and small bites in this historic mansion will transport you to the New Orleans Garden District, which serves as the setting for Suddenly Last Summer. StageQ’s production of this sometimes overlooked Williams play opens on March 23 at the Bartell Theatre.
6:30 – Doors Open
7:00 – Welcome by StageQ
7:05 – “Corruption & Renaissance” – Talk by Professor Tom Mitchell
7:25 – Break
7:45 – Scenes from StageQ’s Suddenly Last Summer. Intro by Jim Chiolino, Director
8:00 – Message from StageQ
9:30 – Event ends
The Talk – “Corruption & Renaissance”
The event will begin with a talk by Professor Tom Mitchell on the personal, social, and artistic context of this Tennessee Williams one-act play, with a focus on the corruption of the artist. Through much of his early writing, Williams depicted artists (writers, musicians, dancers and visual artists) as romantic crusaders – often proclaiming progressive political and social causes. As he reached a midpoint in his work, Williams recognized that he had sold out in some of his own idealism and he recognized how an artist could become corrupted. Not long after this play, Williams suffered a personal collapse followed by a period in which he redoubled his creative risk-taking.
Tom Mitchell is Associate Head of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mitchell directed the 21st century premieres of Tennessee Williams’s Stairs to the Roof and Candles to the Sun, along with productions of the other early plays Fugitive Kind, Spring Storm and Battle of Angels. He authored the essays “Warriors Against the Kitchen Sink: John Guare and Tennessee Williams” and “Tennessee Williams and the Mummers of St. Louis.” Mitchell has presented on Willliams at festivals in Provincetown, New Orleans, and St. Louis. Most recently he adapted and staged several unpublished stories by the author under the title, “St. Louis Stories.” He is former chair of the Mid-America Theatre Conference Directing Symposium and an honorary faculty member at Inner Mongolia University Arts College. For eight summers, Mitchell directed productions, taught, and chaired the Summer Theatre Program at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northwest Michigan. He is working on a new adaptation of unpublished work by Williams tentatively titled, “Desdemona and Desire.”