By Valerie Cutshall
The UNO theatre department opened its season with one of Tennessee Williams’ most famous plays, A Streetcar Named Desire.
The play was performed wonderfully with a wide variety of music and costumes from the time period. The story takes place in 1947 in a small apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Blanche DuBois, played by Sarah Brown, is a refined Mississippian plantation owner who has run into some bad luck. DuBois has lost all her money and the plantation and is forced to move with her pregnant sister, Stella Kowalski, played by Suzanne Withem.
DuBois is not happy with her sister’s new lifestyle or new husband, Stanley Kowalski, played by Vincent Carlson. Kowalski is a rough, tough factory worker who does everything he possible can to get under DuBois’ skin.
DuBois’ secret past is far from perfect but with everything that has happened, it begins to haunt her. She frequently hears voices and music from her tragic past. Kowalski takes it upon himself to check out DuBois’ past and discovers some interesting things.
Meanwhile, DuBois has met a fine gentleman, Harold Mitchell (Mitch), played by Kevin Bensley. DuBois thinks everything is starting to look up for her. But as things start to get better Kowalski reveals DuBois’ terrible past to Mitch. Mitch immediately breaks off the relationship with DuBois, telling her she is not fit to bring home to his mother.
An argument breaks out between DuBois and Kowalski and leads to a sexual assault the same night Stella is giving birth. No one will believe DuBois about the assault, due to all the other lies she has told to keep her past a dark secret.
Stella sees no other choice but to commit her sister to a mental hospital. DuBois is so confused she believes that she is going on a vacation with a past love.
The actors and actresses showed great talent expressing every emotion realistically. The characters were developed carefully and there was great emotion in every scene.
The cast became the characters to the point where audience members believed they were watching real people and not just characters in a play. UNO’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire was definitely worth the time and money.
The production ran Oct. 10-12 and 16-19 in the UNO Theater, located in the Weber Fine Arts Building.
The Oct. 18 performance had an interpreter for the hearing impaired and following the performance there was a curtain talk session with the actors, designers and director.