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SmashMouth 03-27-2011 08:52 PM

Annual 'Stella!' calling contest at Tennessee Williams Festival full of creativity |

A popular highlight of the Tennessee Williams Festival has become the annual "Stella!" shouting contest in Jackson Square. Inspired by the iconic scene from Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," men and women gather each year to compete by calling for Stella or Stanley who oversee the festivities on a nearby balcony.

MATTHEW HINTON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Elena Passarello, winner of the at the Stella and Stanley Shouting Contes, and from Grand Rapids, Michigan, yells "STELLLLLLLLAAAAAA!!!" for the event that closes the 25th annual Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans Sunday, March 27, 2011. The event recreates the yell of the character Stanley to his wife Stella in the Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" and was further popularized by the movie staring Marlon Brando.
"STELLLLLLLLAAAAAA!!!" 2011 gallery (14 photos)
This year, contestants pushed the envelope with some creative takes on the classic scene. Second-place winner Greg Saurage of Folsom shouted with the help of his wife and children, all in white T-shirts. Nari Tomassetti of New Orleans donned men's clothes and facial hair and shouted until a "police officer" carried her away; Tomassetti carried away third place.
The winner this year, however, featured a piercing cry by Elena Passarello of Grand Rapids, Mich., who decided to defy gender expectations and call to Stella instead of Stanley. Passarello left with a trophy, a dinner cruise on the Mississippi, bowling passes from Rock-N-Bowl, and a gift pack from Belladonna Day Spa.

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