In 2001, our founder, Brenda Caradine, began this annual commemoration by staging Williams’ classic play The Glass Menagerie. In the years that followed, she singlehandedly produced many of his works, promoted new scholarship and took Columbus’ productions to Provincetown, Mass. to be included in the preeminent theater festival devoted to his work.
Scores of local actors have enjoyed the rare opportunity to perform iconic roles in incredible plays – from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Streetcar Named Desire. Through Mrs. Caradine’s friendships over the years, she has brought rare artifacts from Williams’ personal life back to his birthplace in Columbus, including the Poet’s Laurel Wreath, which rested upon his chest at his funeral, and an Episcopal priest’s cross worn by his beloved grandfather. These items can be viewed in the home where Williams lived as an infant, now occupied by the Columbus Visitor’s Center.
TWT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to perpetuate Mrs. Caradine’s heartfelt love of literature and live drama for future generations of Columbus residents. Through Williams’ work, we celebrate the authentic Southern voice that continues to influence writers and artists around the globe.
Our faithful supporters and sponsors include the Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Mississippi University for Women, the Mississippi Humanities Council and generous benefactors from around the Golden Triangle Region.
“I have been attending the Tennessee Williams Tribute for a number of years and each year’s event has been more impressive than the last! I love how you mix events that feature his classic works with lesser-known or never-before-seen offerings!” – Pat M., Atlanta, Ga.
Throughout its history, the Tennessee Williams Tribute and Tour of Victorian Homes has been fortunate to have had the participation of some of the top scholars and experts regarding the life and works of Tennessee Williams.
Colby H. Kullman is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Mississippi where he taught from 1984 until 2015. He is editor of the two-volume reference work Theatre Companies of the World (1986), is co-founder and co-editor (with Philip C. Kolin) of the journal Studies in American Drama, 1945-Present (1986-1994), and co-editor of Speaking on Stage (1996, with Philip C. Kolin). His articles on Tennessee Williams appear in the Mississippi Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, and Tennessee Williams: A Guide to Research and Performance. For the past twelve years, he has given tours of Tennessee Williams’ Mississippi Delta. His essay on Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth now appears in the 2009 New Directions text of the play. He was chosen as the Mississippi Humanities Council’s 2011 Scholar of the Year.