PROVINCETOWN, MASS.: The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival has named Michael Kahn the inaugural recipient of the TENN Award, which honors an individual, group, or organization that advances the spirit of Tennessee Williams through performance, public awareness, study, or publication.
This year’s festival, which will celebrate both Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare, will take place in Provincetown Sept. 21-24.
“Michael Kahn is a brilliant theatre artist, and because of his longstanding commitment to staging great texts, audiences better understand what makes Tennessee Williams our great American playwright,” said festival executive director Jef Hall-Flavin in a statement. “His tireless passion for Shakespeare, which has animated his 31-year tenure at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, opens up new worlds to us year after year, even within well-known and much-loved texts.”
Kahn, who will depart the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) at the end of the 2019 season, has directed numerous productions of Williams plays, including the inaugural production of Camino Real at the new Robert S. Marx Theatre at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in 1968. He also directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the American Shakespeare Theatre, which transferred to Broadway in 1975. He helmed a production of The Night of the Iguana with Juilliard students including Robin Williams, a production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the McCarter Theatre starring Glenn Close and Shirley Knight, at The Glass Menagerie at the Chautauqua Theater Company, among others. AT STC, his Williams plays included Sweet Bird of Youth and Camino Real.
“Tennessee Williams has made an indelible impression on me, and his writing continues to shape and provoke deep questions about what is possible onstage,” said Kahn in a statement. “I am thankful that the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in Provincetown has dedicated the past 12 years to uncovering lesser-known and unseen sides of Williams, and I am honored to receive this year’s TENN Award. I am eager to see the festival continue to grow, and I look forward to seeing more discoveries made by Williams-inspired artists around the world in coming years.”