Tennessee Williams Festival to Present Free Performances of “10 Blocks on the Camino Real”

Six outdoor public performances funded through the PNC Arts Alive Initiative will take place this September

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 16, 2017 – Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is pleased to present The National Theatre of Ghana’s 10 Blocks on the Camino Real, written by Tennessee Williams, directed by David Kaplan and produced by Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival. The National Theatre of Ghana will perform six free outdoor public performances Sept. 8-10 at various locations. The festival is one of nine local arts organizations supported by the PNC Foundation through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, which helped fund the presentation. 

Written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, 10 Blocks on the Camino Real is a one-act play that relates in songs, dialogue and dance how the American hero Kilroy maintains his open heart in a grasping world, even after death. Performed in English, this 75-minute production retains Williams’ text, yet is specific to Ghanaian culture, incorporating West African music, dress, and sensibility. Under the direction of David Kaplan, Curator of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, the show was performed outdoors at marketplaces in Ghana in 2016 and continues to tour there in addition to embarking on its first U.S. tour this fall.

“The Greater St. Louis arts community is very active with a wide selection of theater, dance, and concerts,” said Michael Scully, PNC regional president for St. Louis.  “Through PNC Arts Alive, we can contribute to the region’s outstanding cultural arts and support new and imaginative arts programs that help enrich our community and strengthen our local economy.”

PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative of the PNC Foundation dedicated to supporting visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways.

“This production infuses the artistic legacy of St. Louis with international culture in a unique approach to theatre,” says Carrie Houk, Executive Artistic Director of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. “We are presenting these performances at no cost so that all members of the community, regardless of their socio-economic circumstance, are able to enjoy a high-quality theatrical production while learning about a revered St. Louis playwright.”

The National Theatre of Ghana has taken Williams’ allegorical masterpiece and created a performance that is open and inviting – especially for inexperienced theatre patrons. The inclusive nature of the production elicits curiosity about how its theme is relevant to today’s contentious social, racial and cultural climates, encouraging community conversation long after the performance has ended. To that end, each performance will be followed by an open audience discussion with the 12-member cast about the sparks of insight produced by this artistic and cultural collision.

Free public performances of 10 Blocks on the Camino Real will take place on the following dates and times in the following locations:

  • Friday, Sept. 810 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Strauss Park in Grand Center (Note: space will be limited at these two performances as local school groups are attending)
  • Saturday, Sept. 9: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Soulard Farmer’s Market
  • Sunday, Sept. 10: 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Strauss Park in Grand Center

Each of these performances will be followed by talkbacks with the cast. An additional public performance will take place on Monday, Sept.11 at 12 p.m. at an outdoor common area on Webster University’s campus, followed by workshops with the troupe for Webster University students as part of the National Theatre of Ghana’s residency at the University, which has a campus in Accra, Ghana. For more information, visit www.twstl.org.

About the PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

About Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

Now in its second year, the mission of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is to enrich the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic and educational events that celebrate the art and influence of Tennessee Williams. Along with an esteemed Board of Directors, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis is led by Executive Artistic Director Carrie Houk, a professional actor, producer, casting director, and teaching artist. For more information, visit www.twstl.org.

About The National Theatre of Ghana

Established in 1983 at the University of Ghana at Legon, Abibigromma became the resident troupe of the National Theatre of Ghana in 1991. The focus of Abibigromma is to develop a rich blend of music, dance, mime, and dialogue with a strong social, spiritual and folkloric base. Abibigromma is very well known in many parts of the country for the high standard of their performances. For more information, visit www.nationaltheatreghana.com.

About Webster University

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with nearly 16,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. For more information, visit www.webster.edu.

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