ANN ARBOR –
The U-M Department of Theatre & Drama opens the 2011-12 season with a celebration of Tennessee Williams’ 100th birthday with a production of his one-act play “Suddenly Last Summer” and a four-day conference examining the work of the prodigious playwright.
The story tells the tale of two women trying to come to terms with the death of a loved one. Once the sole companion of her son Sebastian, Violet Venable is devastated by his mysterious death abroad. Sebastian had spurned his mother’s companionship on his last trip, choosing instead to travel with his beautiful cousin Catharine. Since returning to New Orleans, Catharine’s wild accounts about the trip have begun to call into question Sebastian’s immaculate reputation. In part jealous of her dismissal by her son for a younger woman, Violet is ruthlessly determined to protect his memory at any cost.
Following the performances on Friday, Oct. 7 and Thursday, Oct. 13 will be a post-performance discussion moderated by director Philip Kerr and featuring members of the cast and creative team. The discussions are free and open to all.
In conjunction with the production of “Suddenly Last Summer,” the Department of Theatre & Drama presents a four-day conference entitled Tennessee Williams @ 100 to celebrate the playwright. Scholars, playwrights and theatre artists will gather to share their perspectives on Tennessee Williams’ impact on American theatre and his enduring influence on writers today. All conference events are free (with the exception of the performances of “Suddenly Last Summer”) and open to the public.
“Suddenly Last Summer” plays at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 & 13, 8 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 14 & 15, and 2 p.m. Oct. 9 & 16 in the Arthur Miller Theatre in Ann Arbor. The conference, Tennessee Williams @ 100, runs Oct. 12 – 15.
Tickets for “Suddenly Last Summer” are $26, with students only $10 with ID. Order by phone at 734-764-2538.
The Arthur Miller Theatre is located within the Walgreen Drama Center at 1226 Murfin Ave. on the UM North Campus.