Festival Celebrates Tennessee Williams 100th Birthday

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New Orleans, Tennessee Williams' adopted hometown, will pull out all the stops for the centennial celebration of the playwright's birth and the 25th anniversary of its literary festival held annually in his honor.

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival will be held March 23-27, with a big birthday bash scheduled on March 26, on what would have been Williams' 100th birthday.

Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," as well as winning four Drama Critic Circle Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The five-day festival is packed with events, including panel discussions with leading authors and actors, one-act play competitions, classes for writers and readers, late night parties and movie screenings. There's even a Stanley and Stella shouting contest based on the classic scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Famous faces scheduled to appear include Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler; Armistead Maupin; film critic Rex Reed; syndicated advice columnist and author Amy Dickinson; and filmmaker, writer and artist John Waters.

The panel discussions will cover a wide variety of topics, from Southern humor to writing about New Orleans music to the state of the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil spill.

A walking tour will take fans to some of the homes and hangouts where Williams lived and worked. He had at least eight different residences in the city that he called his "spiritual home."

Most of the events will take place in New Orleans' historic French Quarter.

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