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Tennessee Williams turns 100 at Lionheart

NORCROSS -- American playwright Tennessee Williams would be 100 years old if he were still living and he still has a strong following of admirers.

Working Title Playwrights, an Atlanta-based group that helps writers create plays, has put together seven performances to honor the legendary writer for three nights of shows at Lionheart Theatre.

"We wanted to have an event to challenge the writers as a tribute to Williams, the master and influence of theater," Producer Dave Fisher said. "We wanted to do reading of short works that touch on him in some way with characters and themes. Then we decided to produce the short works into plays."

The group talked with actors and directors, who loved the idea, then they began to write, rehearse and perfect. They asked Lionheart if they were interested in the event and the rest is history.

The plays last 10 to 12 minutes each and are strung together with one main theme: Tennessee Williams.

"This is not going to be a rendition of 'The Glass Menagerie' or 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,'" Fisher said. "And you may not see Tennessee Williams themes in some plays, but there will be something to bring them all together."

The producer described the plays as "one show that strings together like 'Saturday Night Live,'" but they aren't really skits -- each play has a beginning, middle and end.

Fisher and his group hope people come out and open their minds to the performances.

"If people are not fans of live theater or if they think of actors or directors only on TV, this is something completely different," he said. "You'll get a lot out of it."

All of the playwrights, directors and actors are professionals, but no one is being paid for the shows.

"They are devoted hard-working writers -- most directors and actors get paid when they work, but no one in this group is being paid at all," he said. "It's a labor of love. All of the money is going back to the theaters."

The show lasts approximately two hours.

For more information about Working Titles Playwrights, visit www.workingtitleplaywrights.com.