New Orleans, and especially the French Quarter, played a vital role in shaping Tennessee Williams. When he came here for the first time, he was Tom Williams. When he left here a couple of months later, he was known as Tennessee, having undergone a tremendous change in his personal life and his creativity. A man perpetually on the move, Tennessee considered this city his “spiritual home” and had at least eight residences in its famous neighborhoods. Visit the homes and hangouts where he lived, worked, and returned to throughout his adult life, beloved spots that helped to make Tennessee America’s greatest playwright. Led by Heritage Tour Guides Philip Centanni, Jr. and Karen Fernandez, who have led the Festival tours for nearly a decade as guides selected by the late Dr. Kenneth Holditch, founder of the French Quarter’s first literary walking tour, a co-founder of this and other Tennessee Williams festivals, as well as Tennessee’s friend. Mr. Centanni, who was a student and friend of Dr. Holditch for nearly 50 years, and a one time waiter and casual friend of Tennessee in New Orleans and New York, has a few personal stories to tell. Ms. Fernandez was also a longtime friend of Dr. Holditch and is a tour guide and longtime resident in the French Quarter with many fascinating tales to tell about its history and present day residents.
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