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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Tennessee Williams
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 107
Pub. Date: 1981
ISBN-10: 0822210894
ISBN-13: 9780822210894
Cast Size: 6 women, 6 men

About the Play:

A Streetcar Named Desire was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts recommends A Streetcar Named Desire for female monologues.

A Streetcar Named Desire is a full-length drama by Tennessee Williams. Fragile Southern belle Blanche DuBois moves to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella, and her brutish brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, in a dingy apartment. Temperaments clash, fireworks fly and secrets are revealed in Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

A Streetcar Named Desire is an epic southern tale of an eccentric woman moving in with her sister and brutal brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. The play reveals to the very depths the character of Blanche du Bois, a woman whose life has been undermined by her romantic illusions, which lead her to reject – so far as possible – the realities of life with which she is faced and which she consistently ignores. The pressure brought to bear upon her by her sister, with whom she goes to live in New Orleans, intensified by the earthy and extremely "normal" young husband of the latter, leads to a revelation of her tragic self-delusion and, in the end, to madness. A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragic and effective drama which ranks as one of the greatest in American theatre.

A Streetcar Named Desire had pre-Broadway engagement in 1947 at The Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. It premiered at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, famously starred Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy, both little known at the time, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics' Award in 1948. The play's two year New York run, gave rise to a touring National Company with two separate casts to meet demand for performances of the play, the most important of which starred Uta Hagen (who had substituted for Jessica Tandy on Broadway on occasion) as Blanche and Anthony Quinn as Stanley. Many a critic subsequently commented on how thoroughly Uta Hagen made the role of neurotic Blanche DuBois her own, sealing her reputation as one of America's leading actresses. This single-set show enjoyed six Broadway revivals has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 6 women, 6 men

What people say:

"Tennesee Williams' 1947 masterpiece of broken dreams and tragic collapse ... still ground-breaking dramatic, almost filmic, deliquescent structure and poetry." — The Independent (London)

"Few playwrights match Tennessee Williams when it comes to capturing the poetry of despair and A Streetcar Named Desire was one of his most heart-rending creations." — Metro (London)

"Williams's characters are voluptuaries with injured souls, and his dialogue contains moments of anguished lyricism." — The Evening Standard (London)

"...a great and seductive play." — Financial Times (UK)

"The battle between Blanche and Stanley over living space is a microcosm of the greater battle that the two wage over Stella and for control of the future – a future that doesn't have room for both of them... If Blanche and Stanley battle over the future, Blanche and Stella are trying to protect the past – childhood innocence itself." — The Guardian (UK)

About the Playwright:

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. He was born 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 evening 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, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955.

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