Tennessee Williams Festival



Festival to focus on 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning play “A Streetcar Named Desire”

CLARKSDALE, MS – The 29th Annual Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (MDTWF) announces exciting and impactful programming for our upcoming festival on October 14-16, 2021, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, as well as various grant awards and a special dedication to long-time supporter and festival participant, the late Dr. Ralph Voss of Hoover, Alabama.

“We were so sad to hear of the passing of our great friend and collaborator, Dr. Ralph Voss, in July,” said Panny Mayfield, former director of the MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival for over 20 years. “Ralph was a wonderful scholar. He and his wife, Glenda Weathers, were like family to this festival. They were always here and always supportive. I am so glad festival organizers want to dedicate this year’s festival to his memory.”

In our ongoing commitment to both community safety and community access, our hybrid plan announced earlier this summer is still in place to accommodate these challenging, uncertain times. The festival will offer a socially distanced, masked, outdoor in-person festival on the grounds of the Cutrer Mansion, along with a fully produced professional online stream in hopes of accommodating as many needs as safely as possible.

Most festival performances, programming and workshops will be available in our outdoor, ADA compliant event area at the Cutrer Mansion with most programs being available on our streaming platforms. 

The initial schedule released today features scholarly presentations, live performances, a screening of the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire, a picnic on the grand lawn of the Cutrer Mansion, the ever-popular Student Drama Competition (which will be fully virtual this year), Porch Plays and an after party for in-person guests at the world famous Uncle Henry’s Place on beautiful Moon Lake.

“The festival will feature stories of the people and places in the MS Delta that make this region so interesting,” said Dr. Matt Foss, theatre professor at the University of Toledo and co-director of the MDTWF again this year. “Using Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, we’ll be able to highlight some of the music and history that developed near the Mighty Mississippi in the Delta region all the way to New Orleans. It’s going to be a great festival despite all of the COVID challenges.”

Festival organizers are also pleased to announce that they have been awarded over $30,000 in grants and sponsorships from state and local officials including the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Arts Commission, Visit Mississippi, Visit Clarksdale and Coahoma Community College. Grants like these are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Coahoma County Tourism Commission and other funding sources that support arts and education programming.

A final schedule with additional programming and details will be released in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit our website https://deltawilliamsfestival.com/ to sign up for news and updates through our mailing list or contact Jen Waller at 662-645-3555 or jwaller@coahomacc.edu.