The Pulitzer Prize-winning play “A Streetcar Named Desire” has become the latest American classic to make a run on the Grand Theatre stage.
Written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, “A Streetcar Named Desire” takes place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The stage is set around the small studio apartment shared by Stella Kowalski, played by Anne Louise Brings, and her husband Stanley, played by Robert Scott Smith. Blanche DuBois, played by April Fossen, unexpectedly comes to stay with her sister and brother-in-law after suffering a self-proclaimed nervous breakdown.
As the performance unfolds, Blanche presents herself as a wronged southern belle who has suffered a lot of heartbreak. She has lost the DuBois family home, known as Belle Reve, and the rest of her family as well, leaving her to seek refuge with her sister.
Stella rejected the “proper” upbringing of her youth for the tempestuous relationship she shares with Stanley. Stanley is what could be called a man’s man, and a provider, but also a drunken lout.
The audience sees Stanley verbally and physically abuse Stella and his friends. The chief source of conflict is the relationship between Stanley and Blanche; he thinks she is vain and fussy, and she thinks he is nothing more than a brute.
During her stay with the Kowalskis, Blanche is introduced to Stanley’s friend Mitch, played by Lonzo Liggins. Mitch and Blanche take a liking to each other, but Stanley can’t stand the idea of Blanche stealing one of his friends away.
Stanley uncovers the secrets Blanche has kept from her sister and sets out to show everyone the truth, much to Blanche’s dismay. The play comes to a climax as what little Blanche has left is torn from her.
Mark Fossen is directing “Streetcar” for the Grand. He has worked with the theatre on their American Classics series for the past six years, starting with “The Glass Menagerie” — also written by Williams.
The Grand Theatre production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” runs through Saturday, April 1. SLCC students receive one free ticket and up to four additional tickets at half price. General admission tickets range from $14 to $22.
For more information, contact the Grand Theatre box office at 801-957-3322.