Good news for fans of literature and theater, the annual Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration in Key West, Florida will take place in March, 2021. The festivities will be modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the island still has a great lineup of in-person and online activities.
Tennessee Williams, known best for his plays A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof lived in Key West for over 30 years, becoming a local legend and active participant in the island community. In fact, he wrote his famous play The Night of the Iguana (which was later adapted into the Oscar-winning 1961 film) while living in Key West. To this day, his legacy thrives on the island, alongside other famous authors who lived in the Keys, like Ernest Hemingway and Shel Silverstein.
The festival will take place throughout the month of March, leading up to the 110th anniversary of William’s birth, which took place on March 26, 1911. Events and activities include film screenings, writing contests, online reading programs, and even private tours of his Key West museum (masks and reservations are required for the museum.)
Here’s a closer look at some of the events taking place:
~ Aspiring writers can enter the celebration’s poetry and short story contests any time before the March 7 deadline. Entries must reference Williams in some way, such as through a family member or a character from one of his plays.
~ The Tropic Cinema will host a Tennessee Williams Film Festival, with screenings on four consecutive Mondays in March. Films begin at 6:30 p.m. and include Suddenly, Last Summer on March 1, The Fugitive Kind on March 8, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone on March 15, and The Rose Tattoo on March 22. Filmgoers must adhere to Florida’s coronavirus health directives including mandatory masking.
~ The celebration is also set to feature Tandy Talks Tennessee, an online presentation by Broadway and film actress Tandy Cronyn that can be streamed between March 13 and March 20. Cronyn is to reminisce about Williams and her legendary parents, actor/director Hume Cronyn and actress Jessica Tandy, who originated the role of Blanche DuBois in Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.