In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Williams’ birth, The University of Southern MississippiDepartment of Theatre and Dance will produce what many consider a masterpiece by one of America’s greatest playwrights.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” hits the stage of the Martha R. Tatum Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24 on the Hattiesburg campus.
Set in New Orleans, the iconic characters of this play, Blanche and Stanley deal with a culture clash. Blanche, a Southern Belle from Laurel, Miss. who is plagued with destructive behavior, lost the family plantation and her teaching job. Destitute and unemployed, she moves to the Big Easy to live with her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley, a Polish industrial worker. The story unfolds as Blanche’s alcoholism and delusions of grandeur push their way to the surface.
“It’s [the play] really about the fight for your life, the fight for one’s life, the fight for one’s lifestyle,” said TJ Kent, director and third-year M.F.A. directing student from Sevierville, Tenn.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” has been recreated in theatres across the nation and seen in movies for many years. Kent’s vision for the Southern Miss production takes a slight detour from the well-known Broadway production that starred legendary actor Marlon Brando.
“I want them to have a visceral experience with the characters. When you’re at home watching the film, it’s easy to separate yourself. You can’t separate yourself in the theatre. I want the audience to experience the story through Blanche’s eyes and emphasize with her in a way they couldn’t in the film.”
In addition to the theatre production, the cast and crew are accepting entries for a video contest.
“We want the audience’s spin on the classic line from the play where Stanley screams ‘STELLLAAAA’” said Leslie Datsis, stage manager for the production. “The publicity team for the department hopes to continue reaching out to the community through more interactive activities.”
Cast and faculty members from the department will judge submitted videos. The winner will receive two tickets to the show and two gift certificates from Calienté Grill in Hattiesburg.
How to Enter:
About the Production:
“A Streetcar Named Desire” opens in the Martha R. Tatum Theatre Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. The play runs March 25, 26, 31; April 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 2 p.m. A pre-show talk will take place at 1 p.m. March 27 before the 2 p.m. performance.
Tickets are $12 for the public; $10 for faculty, staff, seniors and military; and $6 for students. To purchase tickets online visit www.southernmisstickets.comor by phone at 601.266.5418.