TENNESSEE RISING

New solo play by Jacob Storms examines young Tennessee Williams. Directed by Alan Cumming.
 June 6 - 27, 2021 at the cell theatre

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“Not only is Tennessee Rising engaging but it is also historical and deeply revealing. Audiences will literally hang onto every word.” –The Theatre Times

Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre hosts the World Premiere of TENNESSEE RISING: THE DAWN OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, a solo play written and performed by Jacob Storms. Directed by Alan Cumming, performances begin April 11 at the cell. Performances will be presented open air for a strictly limited audience of 18 with masks and social distancing required.

What led Tennessee Williams to become the most groundbreaking and unique playwright of the twentieth century? TENNESSEE RISING: THE DAWN OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS explores the formative six-year period from 1939-1945 in which an unknown writer named Tom metamorphosizes into the acclaimed playwright known as Tennessee. The solo play brings these unknown years center stage as the audience becomes friend and confidant to young Williams as he experiences the unexpected highs and devastating lows of his early career, wherein his most iconic character emerges: himself.

An earlier version of TENNESSEE RISING received the United Solo Award for Best One-Man Show at the 2017 United Solo Festival in New York City and headlined the 2018 Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. The current version, under the direction of Alan Cumming, was slated to premiere in March 2020 at the Beaubourg Theatre in New Orleans but was canceled due to Covid.

Jacob Storms is best known for his recurring role as Serge on Steven Soderbergh & Gregory Jacobs' Amazon Original Series, Red Oaks. Storms has performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Concert Hall, The Guggenheim Museum, NY LIVE ARTS, BAM, St. Louis Tennessee Williams Festival, The Hollywood Bowl, Disney Concert Hall & Club Cumming. As high school senior, Storms performed Doug Wright's award-winning solo play I Am My Own Wife to sold out audiences in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Follow him on Instagram @therealjacobstorms.

Alan Cumming has been described by Time Magazine as one of the most fun people in show business, by the New York Times as a “bawdy, countercultural sprite,” and by the Guardian as “European, weird, and sexually ambiguous.” He has won over forty awards for his humanitarianism and social activism, received both the Great Scot and Icon of Scotland awards from his homeland and was made an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for his contributions to the arts and LBGT equality by the Queen, whose portrait was taken down when his was unveiled at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2014. Alan Cumming is many things to many people -- renaissance man, style icon, social activist, bon viveur -- but to himself, he is a story-teller and provocateur for hire. He lives in New York City with his husband, illustrator Grant Shaffer, and their dogs, Jerry and Lala. For more info visit Alancumming.com. Follow him on Twitter @alancumming or on Instagram @alancummingsnaps.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the cell has successfully moved into the digital sphere by streaming virtual concerts and programming such as Dark Matter Immersive’s Garden of Eden (New York Times’ Top Ten Things to Do This Week), Tolerance Party (Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream this Week), the Room | to | Breathe series with Bright Shiny Things, Nourishment "Bites" with Holdtight Dance Company, Apex Sky, Harps Uncovered and Liquidverse a psychedelic & meditative show exploring the images of the cosmos through oil based dyes by Liquid Light Lab and music by composer and technical director of the cell Ricardo Romaneiro. Past productions include Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Pink Unicorn (starring Alice Ripley co-produced with Out of the Box), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (Drama-Desk Nominated), Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical, The McGowan Trilogy, Hey Jude, Horse Girls and more. www.thecelltheatre.org @thecelltheatre

TENNESSEE RISING: THE DAWN OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS runs Sundays, June 6-27 at 7pm. Running time is 80 minutes. Patrons are required to follow all city-mandated COVID-19 precautions including mandatory mask wearing, limited capacity, filling out a contact-free survey for symptoms and potential exposure, and a digital temperature check upon entry. Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre is located at 338 West 23rd Street. Tickets are $20, available at www.SpinCycleNYC.com.