Texas Tech University


Tennessee Williams Institute

The Tennessee Williams Institute is a graduate-level immersion course offered annually in conjunction with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.

Each year, since 2012, Texas Tech's School of Theatre and Dance has committed to taking graduate students to the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, MA, not only to study under three of the best and most important scholars in the country, but also to see 8 or 9 professional shows related to Williams and attendant authors and themes. Charlene Donaghy and Thomas Keith helped to create the Tennessee Williams Institute, a training ground for scholars, and although TTU isn't the only school to participate, it was the first university to commit.

The course offers a new and expansive approach to the plays of Tennessee Williams for those who will shape his reputation in the future: up-and-coming directors, teachers, critics, scholars, designers, dramaturgs, producers, playwrights, and actors.

TWI students participate in a series of private seminars with scholars who specialize in Tennessee Williams. Seminars will relate directly to live performance -- participants analyze and discuss Williams plays and then experience them in Festival productions, discovering where meaning unfolds in moments of action and stagecraft.

Emphasis is placed on the overtly theatrical elements found consistently in Williams' plays from the 1930s to the 1980s; the unique theatrical aesthetic of Williams late work in content and performance; and the ongoing evolution of Williams' reputation in the critical and popular imagination.

The Festival offers an unmatched range of performance and scholarship all in one place, a unique opportunity for academic study in an artistic context.

For more information about the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, visit twptown.org.