Thursday MARCH 28 6:30 - 9 PM—Special Event TENNESSEE WILLIAMS TRIBUTE READING: BEFORE HE WAS TENNESSEE Our Tribute Reading offers the rare opportunity to hear literary gems by an unknown writer named Thomas Lanier Williams, called Tom by his family. Young Tom was terribly shy, but when his mother bought him a used typewriter for his 12 th Christmas, he began to write every day. He wrote letters and entered contests, and published his first story, a fantastic fiction of revenge in Weird Tales at age 17. He composed poems in the style of Edna St. Vincent Millay and penned a series of articles about a life-changing trip to Europe with his grandfather for his school newspaper. As a college freshman, he placed 6 th in a contest with his one-act play, “Beauty is the Word,” which propelled him to write more plays until one of them, Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay! was performed in a neighbor’s backyard when he was 24. Just four years later, as he submitted some plays to a contest in New York, he changed his name to Tennessee, and within 10 years he would go on to change the American theater. Featuring Festival headliners and a cadre of Williams aficionados; curated by TWNOLF executive director Paul J. Willis and Williams editor and scholar Thomas Keith. Readers include Dorothy Allison, Robert Olen Butler, Leon Contavesprie, Michael Cunningham, Eve Ensler, Aimee Hayes, Val Kilmer, Bernice McFadden, and David Williams Pre-party at 6:30. Performance at 7:30. Sponsored by a generous grant from the New Orleans Theatre Association. New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, $35 or VIP Pass 2:30 - 3:45 PM—Writer’s Craft Session HOW TO START AND MAINTAIN A WRITER’S GROUP “Find your tribe.” That’s advice most writers can use. But how to go about it? How do you gather just the right group of people to support your writing? Lisa Herrington gives advice on just that, and she should know. She’s the founder of Bayou Writers Club with 349 members who meet every two weeks in groups to cheer each other on and work on professional development. Tad Bartlett, a founding member of one of the New Orleans’ best-known writers groups, The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, talks about how that group sustains its strong ties through meetings, critiques, and writing retreats. Historic New Orleans Collection, $25, VIP Pass, or Combo Pass 3 - 5 PM—Walking Tour HISTORIC STORYVILLE WALKING TOUR Join Dianne “Gumbo Marie” Honoré on this unique, intriguing walk through parts of what was once the most notorious red-light district in the country, Storyville. Hear stories of cribs, chippies, the Tango Belt, and the last madam, along with the mayhem each night brought forth. Louis Armstrong referred to his childhood neighborhood of Black Storyville as the “worst” area in the city during Jim Crow-era New Orleans. It was also home to the beginnings of Jazz, popular music joints, second lines, the birth of the baby dolls Mardi Gras tradition, and Jelly Roll Morton’s other profession. We stop along the way for a refreshing cocktail! Approximately 2 hours. Thursday and Friday at 3 PM and 10 AM on Saturday, $25 or VIP Pass. Cocktail cost not included. Extended tour with traditional New Orleans second line parade on Saturday at 5 PM, $35 or VIP Pass. Hotel Monteleone, Lobby, $25 or VIP Pass 12 TENNESSEE WILLIAMS/NEW ORLEANS LITERARY FESTIVAL 7 - 9:30 PM—Special Event POETRY SLAM + SAINTS AND SINNERS LIVE AT THE ACE HOTEL The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival presents a Poetry Slam competition with cash prizes and poets Greg Brownderville and Judy Grahn as judges. Poetry Slam sponsored by Paige Royer and Kerry Clayton. Then Saints and Sinners Live kicks off with storytelling by local troupe, Greetings from Queer Mountain. The evening ends with a Saints and Sinners-themed Drag Show hosted by New Orleans drag icon Vinsantos. Ace Hotel, $10 or VIP Pass, $5 for students 7:30 - 9:30 PM—Theater Southern Rep Theatre presents WORLD PREMIERE OF AZUL BY NEW ORLEANS NATIVE CHRISTINA QUINTANA For full description and ticket information, see page 9 7:30 - 9 PM—Theater Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré presents BABY DOLL The regional premiere Baby Doll is based on Tennessee Williams’ one- act play “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” and the controversial 1956 film.