Civic Rep to Present A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at New City Theater in 2015
Civic Rep presents Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire January 2 - 25, 2015 at New City Theater. Performances are Thursday - Saturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are available at: civicrep.brownpapertickets.com
It has been sixty-seven years since Tennessee Williams' now classic play made its Broadway debut, directed by Elia Kazan. The play carries with it the inflections and interpretations of so many great artists of the past. The roles of Stella and Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois are iconic, and in some ways, stereotypical. As Arthur Miller notes, "Caricature can be the fate of plays as successful as Streetcar, ironically because they have been so well-mined in drama schools and acting classes. Their characters have turned to stone, their eyes to marble. Streetcar is a cry of pain; forgetting that is to forget the play."
Director L. Zane Jones, commenting on this production says, "I am interested in exploring and understanding this play through a couple of lenses that are not traditionally, applied. One is the lens of feminism, not that this is a feminist play, but I do believe that Blanche and the interpretations of Blanche (and Stella) over the years have been heavily influenced by a misogynist view. Our view of Stanley has been strongly influenced by this same patriarchal perspective and certainly by Marlon Brando's groundbreaking performance.
The second lens is an understanding of the disease of alcoholism. So much of the dramatic action of this play and the inherent tragedy of Blanche's destruction, is as a result of this disease and the abuse of alcohol." When Streetcar was born, our understanding of addiction was nascent. The lunatic asylum was the only place for a drunk to go. Alcoholics Anonymous was just seven years old. In the years since Streetcar appeared, the treatment of alcoholism and addiction has become a burgeoning industry. Today Stella, Stanley and Blanche would have a host of options, including counseling, behavioral therapy, medication and care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Our contemporary understanding of alcoholism sheds such a new and different light on the play that it demands re-visiting.