University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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May 10, 2013: Blanche and Beyond: The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Performed by Ray Schultz

May 10, 2013, 7:30 pm
Xperimental Theatre Rarig Center

Seating is limited! Reservations are strongly suggested. Reservations will be held until 5 minutes before show time. To reserve a seat, email ias@umn.edu or call 612-626-5054.

Ray Schultz performs the solo performance piece Blanche and Beyond: The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, compiled by Steve Lawson. Blanche and Beyond presents a portrait of the work of one of America’s greatest playwrights at his creative peak.

Through the artist’s own letters, Blanche and Beyond explores Williams’ work as well as the demons that haunt him and lead to his increasingly self-destructive behavior. The play emphasizes the drama of Williams’ life and the complexity of the close relationships he shared with such literary and theatrical figures as Carson McCullers, Gore Vidal, and Elia Kazan. The piece provides an excellent introduction or complement to the canonical works of Williams—as well as an insightful study of the highs and lows of the creative process. Variety calls Blanche and Beyond “a literate and entertaining piece of theater.”

“Williams wrote some of the great American plays of the 20th century, and the more I have studied him, the more I admire his talent and how much of his creative energy and spirit was poured into every one of his works,” says Schultz. “His writing voice was singular in terms of its heightened emotionalism and poetic quality, and through his letters one can certainly see that his ‘real’ voice and his writing voice are almost always one and the same. You can certainly hear echoes of his plays and characters in his letter writing.”

Ray Schultz is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at UM-Morris and is an IAS residential faculty fellow in Spring 2013. His many acting credits include Claudius in Hamlet (Austin Shakespeare Company); Father Flynn in Doubt (Detroit Repertory Theatre), Mason Marzac in Take Me Out (Performance Network), and The Santaland Diaries (performed throughout Minnesota). He won the Wilde Award for Best Director/Production with LGBT Themes for The Little Dog Laughed in 2009 and the Wilde Award for Best Actor, Drama for Take Me Out in 2006.

Blanche and Beyond is made possible through generous funding by the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship program, the University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Annual Faculty Award program, and the University of Minnesota, Morris Faculty Research Enhancement Funds program.

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