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Preview: Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

The annual gathering of Tennessee-philes and Southern literature lovers

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Among the highlights of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is a panel on Southern memoir writers (2:30 p.m. Friday) featuring novelist Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina), journalist, essayist and (pictured) onetime New Orleanian Rick Bragg (My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South) and Big Freedia, who released Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva in June 2015. The event's highlights include tribute readings to Williams (7:30 p.m. Thursday) featuring Dick Cavett, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart), Austin Pendleton (A Beautiful Mind) and many others. There are panels and classes featuring local and visiting writers, and topics include everything from Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman to publishing in the digital age. Local theater companies present productions of Williams' plays in conjunction with the festival (see "Orpheus Descending," page 115), and there are lighthearted productions, including For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls (10:30 p.m. Saturday), a parody of The Glass Menagerie featuring NOLA Project actors. The festival concludes with the Streecar Named Desire-inspired Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest in Jackson Square at 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Visit the festival website for full schedule and information.

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