Provincetown, MA - General public tickets are now on sale for a one-day-only Master Class exploring the craft of acting taught by Kathleen Turner, a living legend of the stage and screen.
The event will be presented at Town Hall on Saturday, September 28 from 9am to noon, as part of the 14th annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. It is a rare opportunity to learn from one of America’s great performers of Williams, in a spontaneous collaboration with theater artists from around the country.
Working onstage with a range of local and Festival actors, as well as theater students embarking on a career, Turner will offer a playful and vivid look into her acting and teaching process. As the work unfolds, the discoveries between teacher and student become the audience’s as well.
“It all begins with the words,” Turner wrote in her 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow). “The words that a character uses give you an idea of the energy and the kind of mind that this person possesses.”
Tickets to the Kathleen Turner Master Class are $25 each. All Festival Passes and tickets — including access to the Festival’s new Workshop Series of four hands-on Japanese performance classes led by renowned artists — are available for sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.
A Broadway veteran, bona fide film star, and accomplished acting teacher, Kathleen Turner has been nominated twice for the Tony Award, for her performance as Maggie in the 1990 revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Martha in the 2005 revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In June, she was Guest of Honor at the Festival’s annual Performance Gala in Provincetown.
Turner is the co-author of the 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations About Film, Television, and Theater (with Dustin Morrow) as well as the 2008 memoir Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles (a collaboration with Gloria Feldt).
“The roles for mature women onstage are a thousand times better than anything written in film,” Turner told Vulture in August 2018. “The screen roles are usually stereotypes: the evil stepmother, the bitter spinster. Whereas in theater there’s Martha or Mother Courage — I could name many characters I’d love to do. That’s why, knowing where my career could grow as I got less desirable for the camera, I focused on theater.”
In Kathleen Turner on Acting, Turner recalls of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: “Once we got past the battle to allow us to do the original play, the original third act, then that opened up a lot of doors, in terms of exploring humor in the play. I cannot help but look for the humor in everything. I think that it is the best part of life, finding ways to laugh at it.”
Beloved for her roles in classic films like Body Heat, The Man with Two Brains, The War of the Roses, The Virgin Suicides, and Peggy Sue Got Married – for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress – Turner has always excelled in carving fresh and memorable lines between comedy and drama, from her über-sultry turn as Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit to her gleeful life of suburban crime in John Waters’ Serial Mom.
Twice a winner at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress for her roles in Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor, Turner has been nominated three other times for a Golden Globe, and received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for her performance in Peggy Sue Got Married.
Turner has a storied career on television, including appearances on Friends, Californication, King of the Hill, Law & Order, Nip/Tuck, and The Simpsons. She has taught acting classes at New York University, serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and Citymeals on Wheels, and is an honorary board member for the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New York City.
Turner has taken two productions from Broadway to London’s West End: Terry Johnson’s The Graduate in 2000 (in the role of Mrs. Robinson) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 2006. In 2014, she starred opposite Ian McDiarmid in Stephen Sachs' Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre in London.
Following her 2011-2012 run in the Broadway production of Matthew Lombardo’s High, Turner has appeared on stage in regional theaters around the country, including as the title character in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. At Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she starred in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children and in Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
Most recently, Turner has developed her first cabaret performance, Finding My Voice, which debuted in Philadelphia in 2017, and which then ran in London at The Other Palace Theatre and toured the United Kingdom. This February, she performed in the Donizetti opera La Fille du Régiment at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Other Acting Workshops
This year's festival will present the work of Tennessee Williams alongside plays by Yukio Mishima, perhaps Japan's most provocative author. Born a world apart, Williams and Mishima became good friends in the late 1950s. Williams willingly fell under Japanese influence for over a decade, up until Mishima’s death in 1970.
The Festival is also pleased to announce its new Workshop Series, featuring four hands-on performance classes passing on the craft of Japanese theater, led by renowned artists. Held from Friday September 27 at noon through Sunday afternoon September 29, the workshops will focus on Japanese performance techniques employed by Williams and Mishima in their plays.
The workshops will provide an introduction to the techniques of Japanese Noh (classical drama), Kabuki (popular theater), Kyôgen (traditional farce), and kami-shibai (storytelling with drawings). The workshops are led, respectively, by professional artists Elizabeth Dowd, Mark Oshima, Laurence Kominz, and Natsu Onoda Power.
About the 2019 Festival Season
The 2019 Festival programming will be presented by artists and scholars from Japan, South Africa, Cyprus, Brazil, Oregon, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. The festival will also feature parties, post-show mixers, workshops, educational classes, late-night ‘lagniappes,’ Williams 101 discussions, and exclusive donor events throughout the four-day celebration.
This year’s shows include two world premieres: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers by Williams (directed by Natsu Onoda Power in the Kami-shibai style using illustrations, in this production drawn live) and the short farce Busu by Mishima, directed and performed by choreographer Daniel Irizarry.
Abrahamse and Meyer Productions from Cape Town, South Africa will stage Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana in a new production inspired by Japan’s traditional Noh theater. Directed by Fred Abrahamse, the production will feature South African stage star Marcel Meyer, along with Gail Phaneuf, and Everett Quinton, a longtime member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The festival will also present the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s The Lighthouse, staged by director Benny Sato Ambush from a new English translation by Laurence Kominz.
The lineup also includes productions of And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens by Williams, The Lady Aoi by Mishima, and an adaptation from Cyprus of The Angel in the Alcove by Williams. The festival culminates in a special Sunday-only staged reading of The Black Lizard by Mishima, starring Yuhua Hamasaki, who competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The reading will be directed by Texas Tech University’s Jesse Jou.
About the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival was founded in 2006 in Provincetown — the birthplace of modern American theater — where Williams worked on many of his major plays during the 1940s. The Tennessee Williams Festival is the nation’s largest performing arts festival dedicated to celebrating and expanding an understanding of the breadth of the work of America’s great playwright. Each year, throughout the seaside village, theater artists from around the globe celebrate Williams’ enduring influence with performances of classic texts and innovative productions. For more details, visit twptown.org and follow the Festival on Facebook.
This Festival is funded in part by the Provincetown Tourism Fund, and is presented by the Pilgrim House.