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CalArts Students Reinterpret Tennessee Williams


[CalArts] – In PARADISE, multiple cameras intensify actors’ emotions on screens throughout the theater—meshing today’s media-obsessed world with playwright Tennessee Williams’ timeless emotional landscapes. Performances begin Thursday, Dec. 13, on CalArts’ campus in Valencia.

Created as a workshop performance at California Institute of the Arts, PARADISE originated in an innovative class led by Academy Award-nominated actor and visiting faculty James Franco, and Deborah LaVine, Co-Director of CalArts’ Fim Directing Program.  In the class, One Act to Cinematic Event, film directing students collaborated with student actors, designers, musicians and dancers to develop contemporary multimedia interpretations of Williams’ iconic one-acts. The result is PARADISE’s nine short plays performed over 90 minutes.

The plays explored in PARADISE were once praised by Eli Wallach, one of Williams’ foremost interpreters, for expressing their author’s “courage, his sensitivity to the outsiders of life, his wicked sense of humor, and most of all his compassion.” Many of these one-acts were not produced in Williams’ lifetime—allowing PARADISE’s directors to freely adapt his material and offer fresh perspectives.

The goal of One Act to Cinematic Event is to create a collaborative synthesis of live performance and media.  The addition of media in PARADISE heightens the tension implicit in Williams’ theatrical universe and brings his astute observations of human psychology into the current moment.

One Act to Cinematic Event was developed by Deborah LaVine at CalArts and James Franco, founder of Rabbit Bandini Productions.


Dates and times

8 pm, Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14

3 pm, Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16


California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia CA 91355

Steven Spielberg Studio, BB3


Price: Free of charge. Space is limited.

CalArts Students Reinterpret Tennessee Williams

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