Road to Paradise at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival
Road to Paradise by Carson Efird ’05 is being restaged by faculty members Jenny Rohn and Kirk Jackson at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, Mass. The piece was originally commissioned by Bennington Drama for the first year of the festival, and has been invited to return for the 10th anniversary celebration.
The revival is helmed by faculty members Jenny Rohn and Kirk Jackson, and features alumni dancers Bahar Barharloo ’14 and Rory Cullen ’15. It also includes a number of current students: dancers Asa Learmonth, Emma Welch, Charles Pisano, Chloe Engel and stage manager Sam Levit.
The piece was originally staged in 2006 as the first performance on the first day of the first year of the festival. Now celebrating its tenth year, the festival has grown in size and stature, and is regarded as a significant institution for the preservation and celebration of the Tennessee Williams' work, attracting thousands of visitors from 36 states and six countries.
This year’s program “brings back the original casts of some of its greatest hits [and] revisits landmark productions performed in new ways.” Road to Paradise is the only school-based production that was invited to participate for the 10th anniversary.
Efird ’05, who was a recent graduate and a member of Bennington’s board at the time, was commissioned in 2005 by the College’s drama program to create the piece. It draws on Tennessee Williams’ published and unpublished texts -- poems, letters, and journals -- some of them as yet unpublished and made available through the festival. Focusing on his love poetry and diary entries, as well as the 1940s pop music Williams’ was drawn to, Road to Paradise explores the bliss and terror of falling in love for the first time.
Performances will take place from September 25 to 27 in Provincetown. For more information and tickets, see here.