“It’s only a paper moon,” Blanche sings while sitting in a tub, cleansing herself of her troubles and ill-fated reality. The protagonist of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is fraught with anxiety and pain from events in her past. She reveals to the audience that a troublesome life is tolerable if one only imagines their own reality. The play is meant to portray social realism in the form of an imagined story, the play itself.
This week, the University’s Department of Theatre and Drama will present Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” one of the most admired and discussed plays of the twentieth century. This 1947 Pulitzer prize-winning drama follows the character Blanche DuBois, a former southern belle, in her fantasized and feigned life.
“Streetcar” was considered a theatrical pioneer upon its release after World War II. It plays on issues of violence, sexuality, alcoholism, rape and homosexuality. It even engages the issue of postwar restrictions placed on women in America.
The director, Darryl Jones, has promised a depiction that doesn’t stray far from the original play. “There will be nothing radically different in this production.” He added, however, that the show will try to explore the oddities of New Orleans’ diverse culture, from Mardi Gras to All Saints’ Day.
Jones has received numerous awards and nominations for such productions as “Spunk,” “The Grapes of Wrath” and “We Are Your Sisters,” to name a few. He is joined by a talented crew of designers and artists as they adapt the classic Williams play. In addition to “Streetcar,” Williams produced other great works like the 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Night of the Iguana.”