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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011

Milwaukee Theater Turns a Fresh Page

New company presents 'Portrait of Tennessee Williams'

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Acclaimed playwright Tennessee Williams was born 100 years ago. Online, local actor Joshua Devitt commented that no Milwaukee theater groups were celebrating the anniversary. Local actor Kyle Queenan suggested that they do something on their own. And that's just what they did. Their program of shorts will debut next week at Carte Blanche Studios Theatre. Devitt and Queenan's newly formed Fresh Page Productions presents A One Hundred Year Portrait of Tennessee Williams, a program of four shorts, poetry and personal journals by one of the 20th century's most celebrated U.S. playwrights.

Devitt and Queenan found never-before-published shorts in Williams' The Magic Tower and Other One-Act Plays. Two of the program's four shorts, written in the late '30s and early '40s but published just this year, are world-premiere productions.

“It's exciting,” Queenan says. “I'd never expected to have my name on a Tennessee Williams world premiere.”

One short making its debut is Honor the Living, a powerful, dramatic piece. The other is In Our Profession, Williams' over-the-top farce featuring a Blanche DuBois-like character.

Fresh Page Productions' A One Hundred Year Portrait of Tennessee Williams runs Sept. 2-11 at Carte Blanche Studios Theatre, 1024 S. Fifth St. For ticket reservations, visit Brownpapertickets.com.

Theater Happenings

  • The Milwaukee Rep opens its season with the Midwest premiere of a comedy by witty contemporary playwright Jeffrey Hatcher. Ten Chimneys follows a romantic triangle in the Genesee Depot home of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. The show runs Aug. 30-Sept. 25 in the Quadracci Powerhouse. To reserve tickets, call 414-224-9490.
  • In Elm Grove, the Sunset Playhouse opens Joseph Kesselring's classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. From Sept. 1-18, Daniel Esposito directs a cast that includes Scott Bahr, Kay Esposito and Michael Pocaro. To reserve tickets, call 262-782-4430.

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