Acclaimed play by Jacob Storms examines young Tennessee Williams. Originally directed for the stage by Alan Cumming.
September 21, 2023 at The Theatre at Innovation Square

Buy tickets HERE.

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

“Smart, fascinating, and highly entertaining… Jacob Storms’ performance is absolutely hypnotic to watch.” – Jed Ryan, Lavender After Dark

"Engrossing and informative...a show filled with fascinating insights into one of the foremost American playwrights of the 20th century." -- Deb Miller, DC Theater Arts

After an acclaimed Off-Broadway Premiere, TENNESSEE RISING: THE DAWN OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, a solo play written and performed by Jacob Storms and originally directed for the stage by Alan Cumming, makes its Rochester premiere as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival. Presented by Spin Cycle, it will run for one performance only: Thursday, September 21 at 7:30pm at The Theatre at Innovation Square (131 Chestnut St Rochester NY 14604). Tickets are $22 each, available at www.RochesterFringe.com.

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 Best One-Man Show at the 2017 United Solo Festival in New York 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. The production made its Off-Broadway debut in February 2023 at the new AMT Theater in Manhattan and it will make its European premiere in Edinburgh this August.

Jacob Storms is best known for his recurring role (Serge) on Steven Soderbergh & Gregory Jacobs' Amazon Original Series, Red Oaks. Jacob won the United Solo Award for his original solo play, Tennessee Rising: The Dawn of Tennessee Williams, at United Solo Fest. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Guggenheim Museum, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Live Arts Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Symphony Space, The St. Louis, New Orleans, and Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festivals, The Hollywood Bowl, Disney Concert Hall, PICA's Time-Based Art Festival, the cell theatre and more. Jacob is also the youngest actor in the world to have performed Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize winning, forty-character solo play, I Am My Own Wife. Follow Jacob on instagram @therealjacobstorms and Jacobstorms.net.

Alan Cumming is beyond eclectic. His most recent projects include creating a dance theatre piece about the Scottish bard Robert Burns, lip-synching the protagonist in a documentary, directing a podcast series about a sperm bank heist, playing a gangster opposite Liam Neeson in a Neil Jordan film, curating a cabaret festival in Australia and recording a duet with a Gaelic rapper. Perhaps not surprisingly, Time Magazine called him one of the three most fun people in show business (the others were Cher and Stanley Tucci!).

Since its founding in 1998, Spin Cycle has co-produced shows by artists including Joan Rivers, Anthony Rapp, Gavin Creel, Holly Woodlawn, Laura Bell Bundy, and Alec Mapa. Other producing credits include Kiki & Herb’s Obie winning Jesus Wept, The Vaudevillians starring Jinkx Monsoon, Fruma-Sarah starring Jackie Hoffman, and the World Premiere of The Donkey Show. Current and recent theater PR clients include: 21 seasons with New York International Fringe Festival, 20 seasons with The Flea Theater (including premieres by A.R Gurney, Elizabeth Swados, Will Eno, Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp, Thomas Bradshaw and Mac Wellman) and 7 years with P.S. 122 (including premieres by Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo and Eric Bogosian), the immersive hit Then She Fell, and theater companies including The Civilians, Bedlam, SITI Company, Ars Nova, New Georges, Culture Project, the cell, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and Theater Breaking Through Barriers. Past Rochester premieres include Alison Arngrim’s Confessions of A Prairie B.i.t.c.h, Woman Before A Glass (directed by Austin Pendleton) and Ginger Minj’s Truly Divine.

The 12-day Rochester Fringe Festival is the largest multidisciplinary performing arts event in New York State. Since the festival's inception in 2012, nearly 670,000 people have attended more than 4,500 performances by regional, national, and international artists, from emerging to superstar. From drama to dance, comedy to children’s entertainment, music to magic, and so much more, this internationally-known powerhouse encourages creative expression while nurturing the artistic process, all while supplying new audiences to established and emerging arts venues. The Rochester Fringe Festival strives to be diverse and inclusive, and to stimulate downtown Rochester both culturally and economically.