Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire Opens at the Berlind Theatre
(Princeton, NJ) Tennessee Williams’ landmark play, A Streetcar Named Desire, will be presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theatre and Dance as a creative senior thesis production by Princeton University senior Shannon Lee Clair, under the direction of Tracy Bersley, who helmed the Program’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale in 2007. Streetcar, which won Williams the Pulitzer Prize in 1948, centers on a culture clash between Blanche DuBois, a fading relic of the Old South (played by Clair) and Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban immigrant class, played by senior Tyler Crosby. A Streetcar Named Desire will open on Friday, March 6 at 8:00 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.
Ms. Clair explains that her choice of Streetcar for a thesis project was based on how she had been cast in campus productions in the past. “Being a fairly put-together, centered person, I often find myself cast in similar roles. But, while Blanche certainly lives on the principle of being put-together, the tidal wave of life experience that crashes against her is so forceful that she is thrown far from her center. This part and my director, Tracy, push me out of all comfort zones I might ever try to live in as an actress.”
For New York-based director and faculty member Tracy Bersley, Streetcar is all about the fragility of relationships and the shaky foundations upon which they are built. “This play speaks to me deeply about the decay and deterioration of relationships, and the inability to hide when one's true nature is exposed. Like a moth to a flame, feeling the heat, knowing it could get burned, each of these characters is drawn to danger so irrevocably that there is no coming back. In the world we are creating for the production, the desire for love takes these characters more deeply into their own baseness, and as they try to escape that image of themselves there is delusion at every turn. ”
Performances of A Streetcar Named Desire are Friday and Saturday March 6 – 7 and Wednesday through Friday March 11-13. All performances are at 8:00 p.m at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for students and seniors. For advance tickets, please call the Berlind Box Office at 609.258.2787 or University Ticketing 609.258.9220.
The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.