Produced in partnership with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Aimée Hayes
Featuring Brenda Currin, Beth Bartley, Jake Wynne-Wilson, Morrey McElroy, Rebecca Rae, David Williams and Carol Sutton
Sunday Matinees: 3:00pm
Please be aware that there will be no late seating.
April 2-3: 8:00pm
April 4: 3:00pm and 8:00pm
BRAND NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART THEATER!
Ashé Power House Theater
1731 Baronne Street, between Euterpe and Polymnia
Dedicated & SECURE parking lot adjacent!
Set in the Garden District of New Orleans, Tennessee Williams’ masterwork, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, follows a wealthy society matron, Violet Venable, who attempts to lobotomize her niece Catharine in a struggle to cover up the truth about her son Sebastian’s sudden death. When her doctor tries to unravel the mystery, will Catharine share the shocking and terrible truth of what happened, or succumb to the pressure to protect the legacy of a powerful family?
Presented in partnership with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER raises bold questions about mental illness, sexuality, guilt, brutality, and the search for truth.
Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. After college, he moved to New Orleans, a city that would inspire much of his writing. On March 31, 1945, his play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, opened on Broadway and two years later A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE earned Williams his first Pulitzer Prize. Many of Williams’ plays have been adapted to film starring screen greats like Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Williams died in 1983.
Since being named Producing Artistic Director in 2007, Hayes has focused on new play development, producing many writers during her tenure, including John Biguenet, Eric Coble, Zayd Dohrn, Catherine Filloux, Jim Fitzmorris, Ross Maxwell, Tarrell McCraney, Peter McElligot, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Joe Sutton, and Steve Yockey. As a member of the National New Play Network, Hayes has served on the Showcase of New Plays panel and directed in their MFA Playwright Showcase at the Kennedy Center. She has also overseen the incorporation of a new slate of new play development programs into Southern Rep’s Lagniappe Series including 6×6, a new play slam, 3×3: THE ONE ACTS, New Orleans’ only live, ongoing soap opera, DEBAUCHERY!, and THE NEW PLAY BACCHANAL, an annual two-day new play festival that includes honoring a new play by a female playwright of color with The Ruby Prize.
Hayes has often appeared on the stage, most recently as Hannah Jelkes in Southern Rep’s THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, and prior to that, as Blanche Dubois in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. In 2014, New Orleans Magazine named Hayes a Top Female Achiever, and in 2012 she was named Gambit Weekly’s Theatre Person of the Year, and one of New Orleans Magazine’s 2008 People to Watch. Hayes serves as the Chair of the Governance Committee and at-large Board Member for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG).
Brenda Currin* (Mrs. Violet Venable)
Brenda Currin, an Obie award winner (MY SISTER IN THIS HOUSE by Wendy Kesselman), has been in such films as In Cold Blood (Nancy Clutter), The World According to Garp (Pooh), Reds and Taps. She has performed in many plays, including original adaptations of Eudora Welty’s work in New York, throughout the country and in Europe, most recently, IN THE SUMMER HOUSE by Jane Bowles (The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival) and DOUBTLESS by Albert Innaurato at 59E59 Theaters in New York City. Between 2003 and 2010, Currin directed WHAT GIRLS KNOW, her theater program for adolescent girls in New Orleans. She is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful production at Southern Rep.
Beth Bartley performed on Broadway in Tony Nominated FORTUNE’S FOOL under the direction of Arthur Penn. Other credits include: Carol Cutrere in ORPHEUS DESCENDING, Ines in IN THE SUMMER HOUSE, Maureen in BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, Lady Hardwick-Moore in LADY OF LARKSPUR LOTION, Mrs. Foy in SEVEN LITTLE FOYS, and Bird Girl in THE MUTILATED. Films include Kinsey and upcoming feature The Daymakers. Bartley has participated in the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival for six seasons and her love for Williams’ work led her to produce ORPHEUS DESCENDING and THE MUTILATED, which was nominated for a Drama League Award in 2014. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Bartley is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School.
Jake Wynne-Wilson graduated from University of the Pacific where he trained as a vocalist at their conservatory. He has since trained at the William Wallace Acting Studio in Los Angeles, and recently returned from San Francisco where he took part in American Conservatory Theatre’s Classical Intensive program. He was last seen playing Spike in Le Petit Theatre’s fall production of VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE. You can also catch him doing improv shows at The New Movement Theatre where he trains and performs as often as he can. He is especially excited to bring this text to life, as his grandmother was a casual acquaintance of Mr. Williams!
Carol Sutton is a native of New Orleans who has been acting for over 45 years. She began her career with Dashiki Project Theatre under the leadership of the legendary director, Dr. Theodore Gilliam. She has performed in countless theatrical productions in New Orleans, California, Europe, and New York where she appeared in Vernal Bagneris’ mega hit, ONE MO TIME. Ms. Sutton has appeared in over 70 theatrical and TV movies beginning with The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Other movies she can be seen in include: Steel Magnolias, Ray, Runaway Jury, Monster’s Ball, The Help, 21 and 22 Jump Street, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This is the End, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, just to name a few. She can also be seen in TV series such as the critically acclaimed “Treme,” “True Detective,” “American Horror Story,” and the Alicia Keys video “The Fire We Make.” Future releases include: Don’t Mess with Texas, Wild Oats, Left Behind and Bad Asses on the Bayou. Ms. Sutton is the recipient of numerous awards including the Big Easy Lifetime Achievement for Excellence on Stage and in Film. The mother of two and the grandmother of 5 beautiful granddaughters, she is so thankful to have the good sense to know that without God, none of this would be possible.
Morrey McElroy is an actor, playwright and theater arts educator. New Orleans credits include: ORKA, CALLIE’S TALLY, IN THE NEXT ROOM (Southern Rep), THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, AS YOU LIKE IT (Tulane Shakespeare Festival) and A LIE OF THE MIND (Elm Theater). Film and television include: “Treme” (HBO), and The Hot Flashes with Brooke Shields and Wanda Sykes. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the rich, beautiful language of Tennessee Williams. Thank you Aimée for this gift. Many thanks also to my special family. You know who you are! I couldn’t do it without you!
Rebecca Rae is a performance art cabaret singer from San Francisco. Locally, she’s been featured in Moose Jackson’s PRESSURE COOKER FOR THE SOUL, the rock operetta RAVEN at The Ann Rice House (Fringe ’12) and the original work VOODOO VOWS (Le Petit, TWF, 2010). She is also a member of the historical acting company, Louisiana History Alive.
David Williams (George Holly)
David Williams has studied drama at NOCCA, Phillips Exeter, and Bennington College. He is humbled to play with Southern Rep on a work by the city’s greatest playwright.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
**Equity Membership Candidate
Purloo, located in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, is offering Southern Rep Theatre audience members a special prix fixe menu from 5:00 PM-6:30 PM. Make sure to check out Purloo’s specialty cocktails – before or after the show – inspired by Southern Rep’s mainstage season.
Purloo is helmed by chef/owner Ryan Hughes, who has earned critical acclaim for his Southern cooking with French savvy at some of New Orleans’ most acclaimed restaurants including Brennan’s, Emeril’s Delmonico’s, Café Degas and more.