The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is pleased to announce acclaimed stage and screen actor Amanda Plummer as the recipient of the Festival’s second annual TENN Award.
Plummer will accept the award as guest of honor at the Festival’s Annual Dinner at Town Hall (260 Commercial Street) in Provincetown on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The gala supports the 13th-annual Festival, to be presented in venues throughout Provincetown September 27-30, 2018.
General admission tickets to the Annual Dinner, as well as premium seats and table sponsorships, are now on sale online at twptown.org and by phone at 866-789-TENN.
The TENN Award honors an individual, group, or organization that advances the spirit of Tennessee Williams through performance, public awareness, study, or publication.
“Amanda Plummer has achieved the status of a Tennessee Williams virtuoso performer on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional theaters, too,” says Festival Curator David Kaplan. “The Festival is proud to call attention to the body of her work performing Williams over the years, from Laura in The Glass Menagerie (as daughter to Jessica Tandy’s Amanda), to last year’s Hannah Jelkes in The Night of the Iguana (as daughter to James Earl Jones).
“She’s created roles for the world premiere of Williams plays,” Kaplan says. “She’s reimagined classic Williams roles, memorably as Alma in Summer and Smoke. She brings to all her roles the passion and creativity that exemplifies the Festival’s mission to roll the spirit of Tennessee Williams out into the world through live performance.”
Last year’s TENN Award went to theater director and educator Michael Kahn, who is now entering his final season as artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Festival Executive Director Jef Hall-Flavin says that he is honored to include Plummer as the distinguished list of TENN Award recipients grows.
“Our Festival has been an important catalyst for the resurgence of worldwide interest in Tennessee Williams’ lesser-known works,” says Hall-Flavin. “We have premiered eleven new plays by Williams since 2006, and our mission is to champion his avant-garde spirit worldwide. Amanda’s body of work is inspiring to us, and we look forward to acknowledging her work in-person.”
Plummer says she is very honored to receive this award, and looks forward to attending the Annual Dinner. She adds that she has not yet been to Provincetown, but looks forward to getting to know the town, as well as the natural landscape and National Seashore, over the course of several days.
For decades, Plummer has given life to the work of Tennessee Williams. She played Laura Wingfield in a Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie in 1983, one year after her star performance as Agnes in the Broadway run of John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God (which earned her a Tony Award at age 24).
Over the years, she has shown a commitment to bringing lesser-known Williams plays to light, which has led to roles in productions of The Gnädiges Fräulein, Summer and Smoke, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, The Two-Character Play, and the world premiere of The One Exception.
Last year, Plummer played the sketch artist Hannah Jelkes in American Repertory Theater’s revival of The Night of the Iguana – a performance that Bob Verini of Variety described as “superb.” In his review, Verini wrote that “Plummer has always excelled in playing delusional creatures with a sense of the fantastic … that otherworldly quality [is] grounded by age and experience now. Plummer completely, believably embodies this self-described Nantucket spinster who takes the world as it comes with no little wit and an endless supply of charity.”
Plummer is also an accomplished television and film actor. Her screen credits include roles in Joe Versus the Volcano, The Fisher King, Pulp Fiction, The World According to Garp, and on The Outer Limits and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
She has portrayed a colorful range of characters over the years, garnering two Tony Award nominations in addition to her win, as well as a Theatre World award, two Drama Desk awards, two Outer Critics Circle awards, a Boston Critics Circle award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, three Emmy awards, a Hollywood Drama Critics Award, a Saturn Award, and a Cable Ace Award. She has received nominations from BAFTA, the Chicago Film Critics Association, the American Comedy Awards, the Cable Ace Awards, and the Golden Globes.
“The thing about passion is that it makes you dream yourself into the play's world and then the work comes from that,” Plummer told the Los Angeles Times in 1988, a few months after turning 30. “Without the need to do a play, the work becomes harder, it becomes work. If you have passion for it, you're halfway there already when it comes to creating something. It's easy to dream yourself into the character and living among the people.”