HARTFORD, Conn. — Olympia Dukakis will make her Hartford Stage debut on Oct. 4 in a reading of Tennessee Williams’ “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.”
“Milk Train” will be the final offering in HS’ Williams Marathon ’99, which opens Sept. 9 with a revival of “Camino Real.” The marathon is Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson’s ongoing multi-season retrospective of the works of the late Tennessee Williams.
Dukakis starred in a 1996 Williamstown (Mass.) Theater Festival production of “Milk Train” directed by David Schweitzer, who will also direct the HS reading. It will be one of three evenings of play readings that will begin on Sept. 20 with Williams’ unpublished late play “Masks Outrageous” edited by Gavin Lambert — who will speak after the reading — and directed by Wilson.
Following it will be three one-act plays “I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix,” “Steps Must Be Gentle” and “The Purification” on Sept. 27, chosen because of their affinities with “Camino Real.”
“Camino Real,” the opening production of the 1999-2000 HS season, will star Betty Buckley, Rip Torn and James Colby and will be directed by Wilson, Sept. 9 to Oct. 10.
The Williams Marathon ’99 will also include a photographic retrospective compiled by Richard Freeman Leavitt, author of the pictorial biography “The World of Tennessee Williams”; a screening of the 1958 film “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” with a post-screening discussion with New York Magazine theater critic John Simon and Wilson; a Humanities Panel led by Wilson and Williams’ scholars Linda Dorff and Brenda Murphy on “the challenges and newfound popularity” of “Camino Real”; a lecture by pictorial biographer Leavitt and Kenneth Holditch, professor emeritus at the U. of New Orleans and editor of the Tennessee Williams Journal; and a master class, conducted by Wilson, on interpreting and performing dramatic literature, specifically that of Williams.
Wilson, now in his second HS season, has vowed to bring virtually the entire Williams canon to the HS over the coming years.