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Calling all 'Stanleys' for 'Stella' shouting contest

 

The winner of the 2012 Stella shouting contest, Charlton Janes, of Alabama, gives his best “Stella!” up to the balcony above Holly Hocks on 5th Street in Columbus in this Dispatch file photo.

The winner of the 2012 Stella shouting contest, Charlton Janes, of Alabama, gives his best “Stella!” up to the balcony above Holly Hocks on 5th Street in Columbus in this Dispatch file photo. Photo by: Dispatch file photo

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

In playful homage to Stella and Stanley Kowalski, characters in Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire," contestants may enter the Stella Shouting Contest to yell "Stella" as loud and as heart-rending as they can, for fun and prizes. The entertaining event is part of the 12th annual Tennessee Williams Tribute taking place in Columbus Sept. 3-8. 

 

"High above the crowd, on the New Orleans-style balcony of Holly Hocks gift shop at 204 Fifth St. S., an adorable 'Stella' and selected judges will endeavor to choose the most irresistible and luckiest suitor of all, the one who will win an array of coveted prizes," said Elizabeth Simpson of the Tribute committee. 

 

Prizes include a dramatic "Stella" mask made by potter Alicia Holen, a gourmet dinner served in regal splendor, and a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to see the Tennessee Williams play "Period of Adjustment" at Mississippi University for Women's Rent Auditorium. 

 

To compete in the contest, register at Holly Hocks beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6. The shouting starts at 6 p.m. There is no charge to participate. 

 

Sponsors for the contest are Holly Hocks, the Tennessee Williams Tribute Committee, WCBI-TV, Main Street Columbus and Better Brands Distributing Co.  

 

The Stella Shouting Contest is just one event during the six-day Tribute. Distinguished Williams' scholars will be present for discussions on the work of this famous poet and playwright. Four performances of "Period of Adjustment "will be interspersed with a musical evening on Sept. 5 featuring the Provincetown, Mass., Players in "Autumn Song," a unique blend of "soaring jazz, gospel and art songs," at Poindexter Hall on the MUW campus. Other highlights, including a tour of Victorian Homes, an elegant luncheon, Saturday at the Movies and a tour of Victorian Homes, are also on tap. 

 

Tennessee Williams wrote his famous play "Streetcar Named Desire" while living in New Orleans. He was born in Columbus on March 26, 1911, on Palm Sunday. He was christened Thomas Lanier Williams by his grandfather, the Rev. Walter E. Dakin, who was rector of St Paul's Episcopal Church from 1905 to 1913. The church is located at 318 College St.  

 

Williams' mother, Edwina, lived with her parents in the rectory of the church, and it is here that the writer spent the first years of his life with his mother, his grandparents and his sister, Rose, while his father traveled as an itinerant salesman. The rectory later became the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, located now at 300 Main St. in Columbus. The Welcome Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Tribute.  

 

For more information about Tribute events, go to muw.edu/tennesseewilliams, or call 662-328-0222 or 800-327-2686 for more information.

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

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