Stellaaahhh!!! Festival honors Tennessee Williams

October 15, 2009 9:31:46 AM PDT
Fans of the playwright Tennessee Williams will be shouting for Stella this weekend in Clarksdale, Miss. The Tennessee Williams Festival begins Friday and features a Stella shouting contest, acting competitions, porch plays and panel discussions about Williams and childhood. Williams drew some of his most powerful images from his boyhood hometown in the Mississippi Delta.

The name Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire" belonged to a friend of Williams' mother in Clarksdale. Brick, the alcoholic athlete in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," was the name of a local boy who bullied Williams while he was student at Oakhurst Elementary.

The Clarksdale gathering is one of several Tennessee Williams festivals held around the nation each year.

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