Tennessee Williams anniversary month begins with ‘Rose Tattoo’


A month-long series of celebrations will mark the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Key West’s own Tennessee Williams, beginning with the first in a quartet of Monday evening screenings of classic films adapted from his award-winning plays. “The Rose Tattoo” will be presented at the Tropic Cinema on March 3 at 6 p.m., immediately following a 5:30 opening reception.

 Filmed in Key West and premiered at the San Carlos Institute in 1955, the movie starred Burt Lancaster and Anna Magnani, who won the year’s Academy Award for Best Actress.

Sponsor of all the events is The Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit, in cooperation with the Tropic, Key West Art and Historical Society at the Custom House and artist William Welch. A highly-praised show of Williams’ paintings, accompanied by published copies of his plays and poems and a video of him reading his poetry, is currently running at the Custom House.

The March Classic Tennessee Williams Film Series continues on March 10 with “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” on March 17 with “A Streetcar Named Desire” and on March 24 with “The Night of the Iguana.” All films begin at 6 p.m. at the Tropic and all are hosted by Craig Wanous and Dennis Beaver.

The celebration will revive the artists’ challenge, a plein air painting of the San Carlos coordinated again by Welch, to be held on the morning of March 22, which debuted in celebration of Williams’ centennial in 2011. Artists must submit a completed registration form and $20 fee by March 19.

Returning as well is the poetry contest. In honor of the Key West filming and San Carlos premiere of “The Rose Tattoo,” poets are invited to submit a poem of up to 30 lines related to any aspect of this historic event. A completed registration form, a fee of $20 and the completed poem must be submitted by March 17. Dr. Cori Convertito, KWAHS curator, is coordinating the contest and three respected local poets will serve as judges.

In both competitions the first place winner will be awarded $250, the second place winner $125. Registration forms for both contests are available at twkw.org or at the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit, 315 Truman Ave. just off Duval St.

A concluding reception and awards presentation honoring the 103rd birthday anniversary of Williams and his life in Key West will be held at the exhibit, 315 Truman Ave., on Wednesday, March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.








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