Thursday, 11 September 2014 10:04

Tennessee Williams "Stairs to the Roof" opens Boo Cat Club Theatre Season

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Large cast of actors, dancers, performers make history as they bring St. Louis playwright’s favorite work to life

This November, St. Louis will pay homage to the city’s favorite playwright – Tennessee Williams – by bringing one of his favorite works to life. Stairs to the Roof hits the stage November 6th with an Opening Night Party November 7th and runs through the 23rd at the newly renovated Boo Cat Club.  Professionally produced in the U.S. only once before by the Pasadena Playhouse in the 1940’s, Stairs to the Roof has largely been forgotten…until now!

Sudden View Production’s Artistic Director, Carrie Houk, will be using this play as a precursor to a full Tennessee Williams Festival in St. Louis next year in collaboration with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.  Abrahamse Meyer Productions was brought in with Fred Abrahamse to direct and Marcel Meyer to design this never before seen production.

Capping a year celebrating 250 years of all things St. Louis, this probing, engrossing, and exhilarating play is a fitting tribute to the city and Williams with its local iconic landmark settings.  The Muny, Forest Park, the Saint Louis Zoo, Washington University (where Williams studied) and a thinly disguised International Shoe Company (where Williams worked as a young man and is now the City Museum) are all represented.

According to Houk, “Stairs to the Roof deserves a place in the pantheon of great Williams plays. Beautifully written, it includes interpersonal drama, philosophical reflection, hilarity, unexpected otherworldliness, and a shocking yet satisfyingly liberating ending.”  A cast of 14 join artists from Jazz St. Louis and Saint Louis Ballet to create a spectacle unlike anything St. Louis has seen…and boasting the inaugural production at the Boo Cat Club!   Artists Pat and Carol Schuchard recently restored this long dormant theater space - once run by the St. Louis Artists Guild and home to some of Williams’ early works while he lived in the area - to a beautiful multi-purpose community arts center. 

But the play won’t be the only option for lovers of Williams’ works and life.  Guests that attend the Sunday, November 9th matinee will have the option of taking a Williams scholar moderated bus tour of the sites from the play along with his home and final resting place prior to the performance.  Additionally, a panel discussion on Williams’ St. Louis years will follow the November 9 matinee.  David Kaplan (Curator of the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown), author and Williams scholar
Thomas Mitchell, director and Williams scholar Henry Schvey and director Fred Abrahamse (world renowned director of Williams’ canon) will participate.  Talk-backs will also be held after the second and third Thursday night performances making for a full experience of America’s great playwright.

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