Tennessee Williams symposium scheduled for this weekend on MU campus

Friday, March 18, 2011 | 11:33 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — American playwright and MU alumnus Tennessee Williams would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. To celebrate, MU is hosting an weekend symposium: “Tennessee Williams: The Art of Endurance.”

Most events — except the Missouri Contemporary Ballet's performance of "Tennessee Williams: Lighting in a Bottle" — are free and open to the public.


  • "An Evening with Edward Albee" at 7 p.m. at the Rhynsburger Theatre: Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Edward Albee will discuss Williams’ influence on his work.


  • "The Simmering Soup of St. Louis: The City that Shaped a Playwright" at 10:45 a.m. in Stotler Lounge with Tom Mitchell, interim head of theater at the University of Illinois.
  • "Panel Discussion: Tennessee @ 100" at 12:30 p.m. in Stotler Lounge. Larry Clark, MU emeritus professor of theater; Felicia Londre, University of Missouri-Kansas City curators' professor of theater; Thomas Keith, New Directions Publishing editor; Tom Mitchell, interim head of the theater department at the University of Illinois; and W. Douglas Powers, theater department chairman at Susquehanna University, will discuss Williams' works and role. 
  • "An Evening with Elizabeth Ashley" at 7 p.m. at the Rhynsburger Theatre. The Tony Award-winning actress has portrayed many of Williams' female roles and will host an onstage conversation. 


  • "Master Class: Shaping the Cavalier and the Puritan" at 1 p.m. at McKee Gymnasium Room 04. W. Douglas Powers will lead an acting class.  
  • "Tom Before Tenn" at 3 p.m. in S304 Memorial Union. Williams' early works will be read.
  • "Tennessee Williams: Lightning in a Bottle" at 7 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium. The Missouri Contemporary Ballet will premiere a ballet based on the letters of Tennessee Williams. Tickets — $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens — can be purchased online, at 409 Jesse Hall, or by calling 882-3781 or (800) 292-9136.

More information and a complete schedule of events is available on the MU Libraries' website. The symposium is supported by a $2,500 grant by the Missouri Humanities Council.

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