The Rainbow Theatre Project to Stage Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer

Feb 10, 2016
Suddenly Last Summer

The Rainbow Theatre Project's Generation Q Staged Reading Series is back in the new year with a presentation of Tennessee Williams' harrowing Southern Gothic classic, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER. It will be paired with a reading of a short-play by Dr. Samantha McDermitt, JUSTICE DISORDERED. The readings take place Monday, February 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at Source in the District.

Rife with mid-century denial and poignant sexual code, the piece centers on Catherine, a poor relative of a prominent New Orleans family, who seems to have gone mad following her cousin Sebastian's mystery-shrouded death while on a trip to Europe. Sebastian's mother, the imperious Violet Venable, desperately tries to cover up her son's homosexuality and death, and threatens to lobotomize Catherine for her incoherent ramblings about the circumstances surrounding Sebastian's demise. Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift famously starred in the 1959 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Southern Gothic play.

Selecting this show was an obvious and powerful choice for Artistic Director H. Lee Gable, who says "Tennessee Williams is, in my opinion, the greatest literary figure of the LGBTQ community. SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER is among his best plays and just not presented very often, probably being over shadowed by the iconic film."

Helen Hayes-nominated director and designer Greg Stevens returns to Rainbow Theatre Project to helm the reading "I have long been a fan of Tennessee Williams. Delving into this play and devouring (pun intended!) his biography by John Lahr, has been like revisiting an old, fascinating, complex, witty, broken and inspiring friend. It has given me the opportunity to explore the Southern Gothic nature of Williams' writing--disturbing events played out by not always likable people against a fantastical setting. Williams offers a window on to his deepest, darkest memory and soul while enveloping us in social commentary about the human condition." Stevens' work was last seen at RTP on last season's acclaimed presentation of The Oldest Profession, when he designed both set and costumes - a role he will repeat later this season for Get Used to It.

Sara Barker (Factory 449, Rorschach Theatre) and Annie Houston (Forum Theatre, WSC Avant Bard) play Catharine and Mrs. Venable, respectively, and head up a cast of local favorites who will bring Williams' one-act tragedy to life. Also performing are Felicia Curry, Gillian Shelly Lawler, Erin Gallalee, Daniel Corey, Adam La Faci and Elizabeth Pringle.

RTP mainstay Christopher Janson returns to direct JUSTICE DISORDERED, the story of Erika Masterson, decorated military veteran, in her journey through her transition told through flashbacks and arguments in front of the Supreme Court. Inspired by a true story, this brand new work features Stacy King as the lead character, with other performances by Joe Cronin, Desire DuBose, Denise Hoquette, Jennifer Reitz, Arthur Roach, Mary Suib, John Tweel, Lindsay Williams, MaryBeth Wise and Ellen Young.

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and JUSTICE DISORDERED will be held at Source, located at 1835 14th Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The venue is approximately 2 blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Metro Station. Street Parking is also available.

Tickets for Generation Q staged readings are just $15 and may also be purchased in advance through the company's website or at the door on the evening of the performance. Cash or credit cards will be accepted for tickets purchased at the door. Seating is general admission for both events and doors open at 7:00 p.m. Concessions will also be available for purchase onsite.

The Rainbow Theatre Project is committed to being the premier theatre for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community in the Nation's Capital by presenting plays and musicals that reflect the unique experiences, interests and history of the LGBTQ community.