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A Streetcar Named Desire Announces Casting & Starts Rehearsals

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is proud to present Natasha Richardson (Blanche Du Bois) & John C. Reilly (Stanley Kowalski) in a new Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' classic drama A Streetcar Named Desire, with Amy Ryan (Stella Kowalski) & Chris Bauer (Mitch), directed by Edward Hall at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street). A Streetcar Named Desire will begin previews on Saturday, March 26th, 2005 and open officially on Tuesday, April 26th, 2005. This is a limited engagement through July 3rd, 2005.

The cast also includes Wanda L. Houston (Negro Woman), Kristine Nielsen (Eunice Hubbell), Scott Sowers (Steve Hubbell), Will Toale (Young Collector) and Teresa Yenque (Mexican Woman).

The design team for A Streetcar Named Desire includes Robert Brill (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Donald Holder (lights) and John Gromada (original music and sound).

Set against the steamy backdrop of New Orleans' gritty French Quarter, A Streetcar Named Desire is the dramatic story of Blanche Du Bois, a faded Southern belle driven to madness by her animalistic brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.

Natasha Richardson returns to the Roundabout Theatre Company having received a 1993 Tony® nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as "Anna Christopherson" in the Tony® Award-winning Anna Christie and a 1998 Tony® for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as "Sally Bowles" in the Tony®-winning revival of Cabaret.

John C. Reilly returns to Broadway after receiving a 2000 Tony® nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in True West. He alternated performing the roles of "Lee" and "Austin" with Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2002, John received a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the movie Chicago.

Amy Ryan returns to the Roundabout Theatre Company having received a 2000 Tony® nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Uncle Vanya. She also appeared at the Roundabout in Broadway productions of The Women and Three Sisters.

Roundabout Theatre Company has a long association with Tennessee Williams, having staged most recently The Night of the Iguana (1995-1996), Summer and Smoke (1995-1996 and 1975-1976) and The Glass Menagerie (1994-1995).

The Broadway premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire was at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 3, 1947. The cast included Marlon Brando as "Stanley Kowalski" and Jessica Tandy as "Blanche Du Bois" (1948 Tony Award, Best Actress). This Roundabout Theatre Company production will be the fifth Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. The most recent revival opened on April 12, 1992 starring Alec Baldwin as "Stanley Kowalski" and Jessica Lange as "Blanche Du Bois". A Streetcar Named Desire won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Biographies:

Tennessee Williams (Playwright). Thomas Lanier Williams was born on March 26, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi. He was the second child of Cornelius Coffin and Edwina Dakin Williams, who also had a daughter older then Tennessee and a son younger than him. The family lived for a few years in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and moved to St. Louis in 1918. Tennessee first started writing at 16, when he won third prize for his essay "Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?" In 1929 he entered the University of Missouri. University life was not for Tennessee, and in 1931 he began to work for a St. Louis shoe company. He also took work as a waiter, elevator operator, and theatre usher to support himself. All this time he continued to write. In 1937 Tennesse's first play, Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay was produced in Memphis, Tennessee. The production was a great experience for him, and led him to have two of his plays, Candles to the Sun and The Fugitive Kind, produced by Mummers of St. Louis in 1937. Williams enrolled briefly in Washington University, and finally entered the University of Iowa graduating in 1938. It was there that he earned his college nickname, Tennessee. Williams got his first taste of fame when he won The Group Theatre prize fir American Blues, and received a Rockefeller grant in 1939. Near the end of World War II, what many consider to be his finest play, The Glass Menagerie, ran successfully in Chicago and moved to Broadway a year later. At age 34, Williams won the Drama Critics' Circle award for best play of the year. Over the next eight years Williams wrote four more plays for Broadway. His reputation was even more firmly planted when he won the Pulitzer Prize for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948. For the next thirty years Williams divided his time between New Orleans and New York, while many of his plays were made into films. He earned a second Pulitzer in 1955 for his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Williams died on February 24, 1983 at the Hotel Elysee in New York City. He will always be remembered as a man who helped the South find its voice.

Edward Hall (Director). Theatre includes: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (National Theatre), Calico (Duke of York's), Edmond (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Comedy Theatre, Watermill Theatre, UK Tour - TMA Award for Best Touring Production), The Hinge of the World (Guildford), Macbeth (Albery Theatre), Rose Rage adapted with Roger Warren from Henry VI parts I, II and III (Haymarket Theatre, Watermill Theatre, UK/International Tour and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre - Olivier Award Nomination for Best Director and TMA Award for Best Touring Production), The Constant Wife (Apollo), Putting It Together (Chichester), Julius Caesar (RSC), Tantalus (Denver Centre and UK Tour), Henry V (RSC - The South Bank Show Award for Theatre for "The Histories"), Twelfth Night (Watermill - Winner of the TMA/Barclays Theatre Best Director Award), Sacred Heart (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs), Celaine (Hampstead Theatre), The Two Gentleman of Verona (RSC), The Comedy of Errors and Henry V (Watermill, Pleasance Theatre London, RSC, The Other Place, Stratford and International Tour), That Good Night (Yvonne Arnaud Tour), Othello (Watermill and the Tokyo Globe), Richard III (Tokyo Globe), Cain (Minerva Studio, Chichester), Bare Knuckle Selling (Edinburgh Festival). His production of A Midsummer Night's Dream which played in London at the Comedy Theatre in 2003, went on to play at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music in New York in early 2004, where both he and the production were nominated for Drama Desk Awards. His production of Rose Rage which he directed for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2003, transferred to the Duke's Theatre in New York in September 2004. It recently won four Jeff Awards including Best Play, Best Director and Best Ensemble Cast. Television includes: "Safari Strife" (Cutting Edge, Channel 4) and "Richard III" (NHK in Japan). His radio productions include "Dear Exile", "Eveline", "Into Exile" (all for Radio 4).

Natasha Richardson (Blanche Du Bois) trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Natasha Richardson started her career at Leeds Playhouse. She has performed extensively on stage in roles including "Helena" in A Midsummer's Night's Dream, and "Ophelia" in Hamlet at the Young Vic. In 1986, she was voted the London Drama Critics' Most Promising Newcomer for her performance as "Nina" in The Seagull, with Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce. In 1987, she played "Tracey Lord" in Richard Eyre's musical High Society. Playing the title role of Anna Christie she was voted London Drama Critics Poll Best Actress in 1992 at the Young Vic; then in 1993 on Broadway at the Roundabout, where she was nominated for a Tony and a Drama Desk for Best Actress in a Play, and won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actress. For her performance as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes' and Rob Marshall's production of Cabaret, she won the 1998 Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk Awards for Best Actress in a Musical. Then played "Anna" on Broadway in Patrick Marber's Tony nominated play Closer in 1999 and most recently played "Ellida" in Trevor Nunn's production of 'Lady from the Sea' at The Almeida 2003. Some of her television credits include Ibsen's Ghosts for the BBC, also starring Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and Kenneth Branagh; the HBO miniseries, Hostages with Colin Firth; the BBC film Suddenly Last Summer, based on the play by Tennessee Williams directed by Richard Eyre co-starrring Maggie Smith. In 1993, she was Cable Ace Award Nominated for her portrayal of "Zelda Fitzgerald" in the TNT movie Zelda directed by Pat O'Connor and co-starring Timothy Hutton. In 2001, she starred as "Ruth Gruber" in the CBS mini-series "Haven" based on Ms Gruber's book. In 1987, she made her feature film debut in the role of "Mary Shelley" in Ken Russell's Gothic. Her performance caught the attention of director Paul Schrader who cast her in her highly acclaimed title role in Patty Hearst. Since then, Ms. Richardson has achieved notable success in such films as Pat O'Connor's A Month In The Country, and Roland Joffe's Fat Man And Little Boy. She then went on to win The London Evening Standard Award for Best Actress of 1990 for her performance in Volker Schlondorf's The Handmaid's Tale and Paul Schrader's The Comfort Of Strangers. In 1994, she received the Best Actress Award at the Karlovy Vary Festival for her lead role in Widow's Peak, co-starring Mia Farrow and Joan Plowright. She co-starred with Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson in Nell, in 1995. And then in 1998 starred in Disney's The Parent Trap opposite Dennis Quaid. Her recent films include Blowdry in 2001, and Ethan Hawke's Chelsea Walls in 2002, Wakin' up in Reno with Billy Bob Thornton in 2002,and Maid in Manhattan in 2003. She just completed Asylum based on the Patrick McGrath novel, directed by David Mackenzie to be released in 2004. Natasha has worked for numerous AIDS organizations in the UK and US including Aids Crisis Trust, National Aids Trust, Mothers' Voices, and Gods Love We Deliver. She has spearheaded and organized many campaigns and fund raisers for "The American Foundation For Aids Research", most notably "Unforgettable: Fashion of the Oscars", the auction of Oscar dresses which raised over 1.5 million dollars. In 2000, she was honored with AmFar's prestigious Award of Courage for her work in the fight against AIDS.

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