A Distant Country Called Youth

by Tennessee Williams


Our Yakka is proud to present Trent Sellars as Tennessee Williams in A Distant Country Called Youth. The Australian premiere of this one man show will play:

 Ron Hurley Theatre, Brisbane, from August 10th - 12th.

Sometimes labelled "The Man Who Queered Broadway", Tennessee Williams is widely recognized as a gay icon due to his groundbreaking plays that explored taboo topics related to sexuality and gender. He lived openly as a gay man at a time when homosexuality was heavily stigmatized and criminalized. Through his writing, Williams challenged societal norms and contributed to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights and representation in the arts.

Many of Williams' works (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie) feature in the QCAA prescribed text lists for senior students of Drama and Literature in Queensland, making this a great opportunity for young people studying the famous American playwright.


Spanning the twenty five years from boyhood to the opening of The Glass Menagerie, this one man show evokes the evolution of an American genius through his extraordinary correspondence with family, friends, lovers and other writers. Hilarious, raunchy and poetic in turn, the piece spotlights these fairly obscure years in William's life. Here is a young Thomas Williams growing up, exploring and finding his artistic voice as Tennessee Williams.

“Lively, amusing, vivid, evocative, poetic.”
- Variety

“Revealing, funny, naughty, and sometimes piercingly poetic...”
- Hartford Courant

“Sensitively fashioned.”
- New Orleans Times


Written by
Tennessee Williams

Trent Sellars

Presented by
Our Yakka

Produced by
Jesse Lander

Acknowledged by
Heidi Sellars

presented by special arrangement with
The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee


Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the Episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. 

He received a Rockefeller fellowship in 1940 for his play BATTLE OF ANGELS, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and in 1955 for CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Other plays include SUMMER AND SMOKE, THE ROSE TATTOO, CAMINO REAL, BABY DOLL, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, ORPHEUS DESCENDING, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, and THE TWO-CHARACTER PLAY. Tennessee Williams died in 1983.


The University of the South, a national ranked liberal arts college and Episcopal seminary, is the beneficiary of the Tennessee Williams’ estate, including the copyrights to all his works. This gift was made as a memorial to Williams’ grandfather, the Reverend Walter E. Dakin, who studied at the University’s seminary in 1895.

The Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund is used to support the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, and the School of Letters. The Fund also supports scholarships for students who wish to pursue creative writing and fellowships which are granted annually to budding playwrights or authors. Those fellows include Ann Patchett, Claire Messud, Tony Early, and Mark Richard. The Tennessee Williams Center houses the University’s theater department, and a portion of the Fund supports the department and its theatrical productions.

Visit www.sewanee.edu for more information.


For more than a decade, Trent has produced, directed, performed and reviewed theatre. Having trained with the Film and Television Studio International, and the Performing Arts Conservatory, Trent has several leading credits including Harry Bright (MAMMA MIA!), Seymour Krelborn (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS), Roger (GREASE), Peter Allen (THE BOY FROM OZ), and Scarecrow (THE WIZARD OF OZ). As a director, Trent has overseen projects including THE ADDAMS FAMILY, PETER PAN, and ANNIE; and has produced plays, tributes and workshops in both regional and South East Queensland. In 2022, Trent produced and directed Young Jean Lee's STRAIGHT WHITE MEN on behalf of Our Yakka. Occasionally, Trent performs as Another Ed Sheeran Tribute and was a co-founder of Theatre Haus, a digital platform for theatre news and reviews in Brisbane and beyond.
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