Clarksdale’s most famous playwright will have his most famous play aired at this year’s Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival.
A screening of “A Street Car Names Desire” will be just one of the highlights of this year’s 29th annual festival that draws people from around the country and world to learn about one of America’s most famous playwrights.
More than 20 events from renowned Tennessee Williams scholars and porch plays to playwrights and Mississippi Delta cultural experiences will be offered beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday and wrapping up with an “After Party” at Moon Lake on Saturday.
RSVP events are:
• Thursday's Delta Lawn Party and movie screening on the Cutrer lawn
• Friday's Wine and Cheese Reception
• Saturday's Afterparty at Uncle Henry's on Moon Lake
Matt Foss and Jen Waller are co-directors of this year’s event and are urging Clarksdale residents to take in at least one event, presentation or play.
The festival is free and open to the public. No reservations or registrations are necessary for programming during the day. Again, evening events Thursday, Friday and Saturday, do have deadlines for reservations.
The festival will welcome in-person guests again this year while others around the world can join the fun from anywhere online through the festival’s YouTube channel. Streaming will begin on Thursday, Oct. 14.
Most in-person programming will take place outside on the grounds of the historic Cutrer Mansion in Clarksdale with masked and socially distanced audience areas.
The Cutrer Mansion will serve as the headquarters for the festival, and it will be staffed at all times during the festival. For more information, you can call 662-621-9344 or 662-645-3555 before or during the festival.
The 2021 MDTWF is dedicated to long-time supporter and festival participant the late Dr. Ralph Voss. For years, Dr. Voss served the festival in a variety of roles including academic advisor, panelist and scholar and as the Keynote Speaker for the Williams Centennial Celebration on March 26, 2011 in Clarksdale.
Voss passed away on July 23, 2021.
The festival will open with a welcome by Dr. Valmadge Towner, President of Coahoma Community College and a special musical performance by the Coahoma Community College choir ensemble under the direction of Dr. Kelvin Towers at the Cutrer on Thursday.
Coahoma Community College has been a longtime supporter of the Tennessee Williams Festival.
The Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum, at 106 Sharkey Ave., will open Saturday morning. The museum is in four former bedrooms of the young Tom "Tennessee" Williams and his family, in the former rectory of St. George's Episcopal Church, where Williams' grandfather, the Rev. Walter E. Dakin, was rector from 1917-1931.
The Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (MDTWF) was founded by Coahoma Community College (CCC) in 1992, with a $10,000 grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
For complete details and schedule of events visit: deltawilliamsfestival.com.