The Festival is excited to announce The Kindness of Strangers, our star-studded celebration of Tennessee Williams and his life in New Orleans. This free online event will premiere Friday, July 31 at 7pm CST and remain online for viewing for two weeks. See link to video below.

The show title pulls its name from the famous Blanche DuBois line, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” from Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire

Performers in The Kindness of Strangers include Bryan Batt (our host), Samantha Beaulieu, Troi Bechet, Curtis Billings, Betty Buckley, Leslie Castay, Michael Cerveris, Patricia Clarkson, Patrick Cragin, Brenda  Currin, Lisa  D’Amour, Arsène DeLay, Gwendolyne Foxworth, Alison Fraser, Lawrence Henry Gobble, John Goodman, Rodney Hicks, Kenneth  Holditch, Corey Johnson, Idella Johnson, Peggy Scott  Laborde, Donald Lewis, Ti Martin, Elizabeth McCoy, Jessica Mixon, Whitney Mixon, Wendell Pierce, Francine Segal, Janet  Shea, Harry Shearer, Carol Sutton, Beverly Trask, Kathleen  Turner, Cassie Worley, and Jake Wynne-Wilson.

This online show began as a conversation between Batt and TWFestival Board President-Elect Lawrence Henry Gobble, lamenting the cancellation of the March 2020 Festival due to Covid-19. They wanted to do something to support the Festival and to showcase some of the talented artists who have been part of the Festival family over the years. 

“That conversation between friends,” says Executive Director Paul J. Willis, “has become this love letter to the Festival, to Tennessee Williams, and to all that he loved about New Orleans. It is a testament to the artistic and enduring spirit of this city and our namesake playwright.”

Performers share stories of knowing Tennessee, performing his works, their favorite TW pieces, and their memories of the Festival. Our ensemble cast of 20 local actors deliver some of Tennessee Williams’ most iconic lines, showcasing his mastery at distilling the human experience into just a few perfectly chosen words.

The online event is FREE and viewers are encouraged to follow the donate button to support the work of the Festival.

VIDEO LINK—->The viewing link goes live HERE beginning at 7 pm CST on Friday, July 31 through August 14. 

This event is sponsored by The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate.


What is TWFest?

We are a five-day literary arts festival held every spring right around March 26, the birthday of our patron saint and inspiration, playwright Tennessee Williams. Our Festival is perfect for readers, writers, theater lovers, and anyone who loves New Orleans’ magical culture.

Events include writing workshops and master classes by acclaimed writers, enlightening and entertaining literary panel discussions, theater events,  book fair, Tennessee Williams Tribute Reading, Tennessee Williams scholars conference,  literary walking tours, music events, Books & Beignets book club, culinary and cocktail events, interviews with legendary writers and actors, and much more!

Now in our 34th year, TWFest brings together over 100 contemporary writers, scholars, actors, musicians, and other artists for five days of literary revelry  in the lush Bohemian world of New Orleans.

For a taste of the Fest, view our most recent program book by clicking on the cover image. Our 2020 Festival was cancelled due to the pandemic but save the date for 2021, March 24-28!

Saints + Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival is March 26-28, 2021. A program of TWNOLF, SASFest includes panels, readings, workshops, and special events. Visit for full program information.

We are grateful for the support of our Premier Sponsors. See Sponsor menu for all of our sponsors.