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James Franco Will See Dead People, Conjure Tennessee Williams as Part of Performa Festival


The actor plans to talk to long-dead playwright as performance art, follow the ordeal with karaoke-style auditions.

James Franco takes seances very seriously.

Sunday, the actor and artsy prankster will take part in Three Performances in Search of Tennessee, a project that finds the Milk star and art darling Laurel Nakadate using a Ouija Board to attempt contact with the spirit of long-dead playwright Tennessee Williams.

According to a chat he had with New York, it's no laughing matter--not that one can ever really tell with the dreamy dissimulator.

"What interests me is making a play between living and dead, art world and artist, barrier breaking," Franco said.

And what about Williams makes disturbing his eternal rest for fun and profit (the show runs $30 and is part of the biannual Performa performance art jamboree) appealing? "He's a wonderful example of someone who's taken their own experiences and transformed them into art," the scholarly star shared.

If that's not enough Franco for you, after the performance audience members will be able to perform scenes from The Glass Menagerie karaoke style with a projection of the actor, officially making this one of the strangest Williams events this side of the annual festival in his honor in Provincetown, Mass.

To Franco, it's all one big, thinky stunt that we should all be glad to participate in, though.

"We're examining certain aspects of celebrity," he said. "In the context of our play, the guest performers will be themselves and characters in the play."

He's right about one thing: We're guessing plenty of folks will be there just to examine, uh, certain aspects of celebrity.

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Adam Rathe