College to present Williams’ award-winning ‘Streetcar Named Desire’
PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College Central’s department of theatre and film will present “A Streetcar Named Desire,” one of the most famous and controversial plays in American history, for two weekend performances.
The acclaimed 1951 film version was adapted from Tennessee Williams’ 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play (his first) of the same name. The play portrays the mental and emotional demise of a determined, yet fragile, repressed and delicate Southern lady born to a once-wealthy family of Mississippi planters. Her impoverished, tragic downfall in the squalid, cramped and tawdry French Quarter one-bedroom apartment of her married sister and animalistic brother-in-law graphically illustrates the savage, brutal forces prevalent in modern society.
The 1951 film, starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter, received a phenomenal 12 Academy Awards nominations and was awarded four Oscars (an unprecedented three in the acting categories). Some reviewers hailed the groundbreaking film for its honesty and realism, and the American Film Institute ranks the performance among the top 100 movies of all time. Many other reviewers deemed the film controversial, decadent, and “morally repugnant” because of its bold adult theme and sexual subjects. Two made-for-TV movies were made of the play, one in 1984, and one in 1995.
Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the restless years following World War II, the play tells the story of Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic woman on a desperate prowl for someplace in the world to call her own. After being exiled from her hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, for seducing a 17-year-old boy at the school where she taught English, Blanche explains her unexpected appearance on Stanley and Stella’s (Blanche’s sister) doorstep as nervous exhaustion. This, she claims, is the result of a series of financial calamities that have recently claimed the family plantation, Belle Reve. Suspicious, Stanley points out that “under Louisiana’s Napoleonic code what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband.” He tells Blanche he doesn’t like to be swindled and demands to see the bill of sale. This encounter defines Stanley and Blanche’s relationship. They are opposing camps and Stella is caught in no-man’s-land. But Stanley and Stella are deeply in love. Blanche’s effort to impose herself between them only enrages the animal inside Stanley. When Mitch – a card-playing buddy of Stanley’s – arrives on the scene, Blanche begins to see a way out of her predicament. Mitch, himself alone in the world, reveres Blanche as a beautiful and refined woman. Yet, as rumors of Blanche’s past begin to catch up to her, her circumstances become unbearable and the show ends with her being taken away to a mental institution.
“A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the most famous and remarkable plays of our time,” commented Richard Turner, San Jacinto College drama instructor and director of the show. “It deals with the journey of a one-time Southern beauty forced into the strange harsh world of New Orleans. For me, Tennessee Williams raises the question, ‘Can something soft and beautiful survive in a space of raw animal instincts and emotions?’ For Blanche DuBois the answer is no.”
Show times for “A Streetcar Named Desire” will be April 17, 18, 24 and 25 with a 7:30 p.m. curtain for each performance. Matinee performances are set for April 19 and 26
at 2:30 p.m.
General admission tickets for the show are $10 per person. The admission cost is $8 for senior citizens, children under 10, group organizations of 15 or more, and San Jacinto College employees and students. No reservations are needed for the play. Tickets will be sold at the door only.
The play’s cast includes San Jacinto College students Ashley Osburn as Blanche, Kylie Miller as Stella, Richard Furin as Stanley, Michael Carver as Mitch, Kristy Vargas as Eunice, Clayton Scott as Steve, Andrew Nunez as Pablo, Kyle Crawford as the doctor, Jennifer Rodriguez as a nurse/matron, and Suzelle Palacios as Mexican women. Mark Webster (not a student of the College) also appears as a young collector. The assistant director of the show is Jackie Brothers.
San Jacinto College serves more than 24,500 students in over 140 degrees and certificates in university transfer and technical programs. The College also serves the community through workforce training. Students come with various goals and aspirations and we are committed to their success. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150 or visit www.sanjac.edu.