“Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” After the loss of her family home to creditors, Blanche DuBois travels from the small town of Laurel, Mississippi, to the New Orleans French Quarter to live with her younger married sister, Stella, and Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalski. Blanche is in her thirties and, with no money, has nowhere else to go.
Blanche tells Stella that she has taken a leave of absence from her English-teaching position because of her nerves. Blanche laments the shabbiness of her sister’s two-room flat. She finds Stanley loud and rough, eventually referring to him as “common”. Stanley, in return, is suspicious of Blanche’s motives, does not care for her manners and dislikes her presence. Right from the first scene, Blanche is revealed to be nervous and jittery. She is reluctant to be in the glare of light and seems to have a drinking problem. She is also deceptive and is critical of her sister and her husband.
The Desire Line ran from 1920 to 1948, at the height of streetcar use in New Orleans. The route ran down Royal, through the Quarter, to Desire Street in the Bywater district, and back up to Canal. Blanche’s route in the play—”They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at—Elysian Fields!”—is allegorical, taking advantage of New Orleans’s colorful street names: the Desire line itself crossed Elysian Fields Avenue on its way to Canal Street. There, one could transfer to the Cemeteries line, which ran along Canal, blocks away from Elysian Fields.
Thursday 8/25 and Thursday 9/1 are Name-Your-Price-Nights. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. *NO reservations needed & NO ticket needed* – just show up at the Carsen Theater for the show. Donations of any amount are accepted in lieu of purchasing a ticket.
Talkback: Saturday 9/3. Stay in the Carsen Theater after the show for an informal conversation with the cast and director.
For Season Tickets, please visit: www.TheUpstartCrow.org/Season-Tickets
Current Season Ticket Holders please make your reservation at: www.TheUpstartCrow.org/Reservations