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Tennessee Williams: The Alabama Tribute, March 2015

 

Tennessee Williams: The Alabama Tribute at Gaineswood And The Marian Gallaway Theatre

Monday, March 2, 2015
Gaineswood in Demopolis

During his courtship of Edwina Dakin, Tennessee Williams's mother of Columbus, Ms., Gaius Whitfield sent her a postcard of Gaineswood, his ancestral home in Demopolis, noting in the margins: "Am sorry I didn’t get to see you again before I left."

Though the courtship did not blossom into marriage, Gaius entered theatrical history as a role model for one of the "gentleman callers" that matriarchal Amanda Wingfield recalls in "The Glass Menagerie." Edwina Dakin with children Rose and Tom ("Tennessee")Under the direction of Allison Hetzel, University of Alabama Theatre students present excerpts from "Menagerie" and other Williams plays such as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in the grand drawing room of Gaineswood with introductions by members of the Canebrake Players and a keynote address by Dr. Ken Holditch, author of "Tennessee Williams and the South" and a professor emeritus of the University of New Orleans. For more background, read the Tennessee Williams/Alabama Tribute page.

The event is presented and sponsored by the Southern Literary Trail, the University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance, Friends of Gaineswood, and the Canebrake Players. Additional support is provided by the Demopolis Public Library, Marengo County Historical Society, the Marengo County History and Archives Museum, Two Rivers Arts Council and the Tiger Arts Guild at Demopolis High School with grant funding by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Place: Gaineswood in Demopolis, 805 So. Cedar Avenue
Day and Time: Monday, March 2, 2015, at 6 p.m.
Admission: Free
Information: Call Gaineswood at 334.289.4846

 

 

Marian Gallaway Theatre at the University of AlabamaTennessee Williams: The Alabama Tribute at Gaineswood and the Marian Gallaway Theatre

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
The Marian Gallaway Theatre at The University of Alabama

Upon leaving the University of Iowa, where he was a student of theatrical arts, Tennessee Williams wrote that he left Iowa City with "a great deal more theatre knowledge than I had brought there," thanks to his friendship with Marian Gallaway. He became the acclaimed playwright of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire. She defied the boys' club atmosphere of college campuses during the 1940s and 50s to establish the Department of Theatre at the University of Alabama where she became known as the unstoppable "Doc Gallaway." At the Marian Gallaway (University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama)beginning with a budget of only $2000.00 annually, "Doc" even made the costumes and wigs for every performance. For more background, visit the Tennessee Williams/Alabama Tribute page.

Gallaway never kept her enduring friendship with Williams a secret, even dazzling her students with claims that she inspired Blanche in Streetcar. The playwright did use her last name, repeatedly, and Doc's persona for characters in several plays. For this special presentation in the Theatre named for Marian Gallaway in 1976, contemporary UA students under the direction of Allison Hetzel perform excerpts from the plays of Tennessee Williams. Dr. Ed Williams, who knew and worked with "Doc," and Dr. Ken Holditch, who knew Tennessee, share commentaries and reflections on Gallaway and Williams.

This event is presented by the University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance in collaboration with the Southern Literary Trail for Trailfest 2015 with grant support from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Place: The University of Alabama's Marian Gallaway Theatre
Address: Rowland-Johnson Hall on Stadium Drive, near the intersection of Marrs Spring Rd. (Parking in the ten Hoor Parking Decks)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Theatre box office at 205.348.3400.