STELLAAAAA!!! Shouting Contest Tears up NOLA Lit Fest

Ready, set, "STELLAAAAA!!!"

If you're in New Orleans this weekend, you're invited to an elite sporting event that features competitors yelling at the top of their lungs, grabbing their heads in agony, writhing to the ground dramatically and ripping their T-shirts off in fits of passion.

Welcome to the Stanley & Stella Shouting Contest - also known as "the Stell-off" - the finale of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and a quirky tribute to the playwright's masterpiece, "A Streetcar Named Desire."

This is where you get to channel Marlon Brando's raw, explosive performance as Stanley Kowalski in the classic 1951 film adaptation of the play. Competitors try to recreate Stanley's primal call to his wife Stella -- a movie moment so famous it's been parodied everywhere from "Modern Family" to "Seinfeld." 

"Some people just go crazy," said Peggy Scott Laborde, one of the founding members of the festival, who came up with the idea of the contest as a way to attract more attention to the literary event.

"You would be so surprised as to how many variations there are of 'Stella'... it really always makes me smile."

The first Stella Shouting Contest took place in 1997, with Laborde and other organizers forced to act like "carnival barkers" to get reluctant people to take part.

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