Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

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The unraveling of Blanche DuBois plays out within a lily-laced atmosphere of heated passion and pulsing sweat, as Williams expertly weaves the heady throb of New Orleans and Blanche's softer, more delicate sensibilities. Though apparently accustomed to a life of propriety and luxury, she comes to live with her sister, Stella, where she finds the cramped lodgings and her sister's "common" husband, Stanley Kowalski, repulsive. As Blanche attempts to settle herself with the Kowalskis, she crafts an image of lounging royalty as she is waited on by her sister. Refusing to bend to his sister-in-law, Stanley soon discovers that there is more to this self-styled Southern belle than she would like or is able to tell. Her high-toned stories mask distasteful secrets, which she refuses to share or confront. When Stanley reveals the truth, ripping away Blanche's illusions and claiming her sexuality, he forces her into a final emotional collapse.

Melting in and out of reality, Williams' notably autobiographical plays emphasize characters, often dramatizing their mental struggles. An underscoring of music and technical theatricality set the play's shifting moods and serve to illustrate Blanche's impressions and declining state, from soft, dream-like moments of calm to surges in the music, amplified noises and shadows thrown against the walls as Blanche's terror grows and the past comes nearer. Through its tumult of fantasies, reality and impassioned speeches, A Streetcar Named Desire paints a fascinating tragedy of a woman who struggles boldly against a harsh world, creating a night of compelling, intensely emotional theater.

A Streetcar Named Desire first premiered on Broadway in 1947, winning the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for best original American play. More than 30 years since the Guthrie's last production of this American classic, this highly anticipated production promises a fulfilling midsummer night at the theater.

Film and television actress Gretchen Egolf plays Blanche DuBois, joining Ricardo Antonio Chavira (Stanley Kowalski) and Stacia Rice (Stella Kowalski), in the Theater's summer production of Tennessee Williams' classic American play A Streetcar Named Desire. Guthrie Associate Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany directs the production, which began preview performances on July 3, opens July 9 and continues through August 29, 2010, on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Single tickets start at $24 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at http://www.guthrietheater.org/.

In addition to Egolf, Chavira and Rice, the cast will also feature Liam Benzvi (A Young Collector), Raye Birk (Doctor), Yolanda Cotterall (Mexican Woman), Beth Gilleland (Nurse), Brian Keane (Harold "Mitch" Mitchell), Ann Michels (Eunice Hubbell), Steve Sweere (Steve Hubbell), Dario Tangelson (Pablo Gonzales) and Regina Marie Williams (Negro Woman).

Photo credit: T. Charles Erickson.

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Stacia Rice, Ricardo Antonio Chavira and Gretchen Egolf

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf and Stacia Rice

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf and Brian Keane

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf, Stacia Rice, Dario Tangelson, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Steve Sweere, and Brian Keane

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Ricardo Antonio Chavira and Gretchen Egolf

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Stacia Rice and Gretchen Egolf

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Stacia Rice and Ricardo Antonio Chavira

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf and Brian Keane

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Ricardo Antonio Chavira

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gretchen Egolf and Brian Keane

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Ricardo Antonio Chavira and Stacia Rice

Photo Flash: Guthrie Theater Presents A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

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