Synopsis of Play
The play reveals to the very depths the character of Blanche du Bois, a woman whose life has been undermined by her romantic illusions, which lead her to reject – so far as possible – the realities of life with which she is faced and which she consistently ignores. The pressure brought to bear upon her by her sister, with whom she goes to live in New Orleans, intensified by the earthy and extremely “normal” young husband of the latter, leads to a revelation of her tragic self-delusion and, in the end, to madness.
Inside book version of ASND chosen by TW:
“And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, its voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.”
“The Broken Tower” by Hart Crane
A play of poetic power and deep, compassionate understanding, it tells the story of a beautiful woman whose life is undermined by fantasy and the memory of a tragic love, combined with the resentment and passion she instills in her brother-in-law.
A modern classic, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, won all the major American theatre prizes from The Drama Critics Circle Award to The Pulitzer Prize. Produced as a play and published in book form around the world and made into an Academy Award winning motion picture that introduced a new era of filmmaking, as well as other film and television versions.
“This is one of the most remarkable plays of our time. It is native tragedy, written by one who is both a poet and a first-rate dramatist.”
–William Rose Benet
“A play in a book is only the shadow of a play and not even a clear shadow of it… The printed script of a play is hardly more than an architect’s blueprint of a house not built or [a house] built and destroyed. The color, the grace and levitation, the structural pattern in motion, the quick interplay of live beings, suspended like fitful lightning in a cloud, these things are the play, not words on paper nor thoughts and ideas of an author.”
Also by Tennessee Williams:
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH
SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER
THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE
SUMMER AND SMOKE
THE ROSE TATTOO
27 WAGONS FULL OF COTTON
“There is always the eventuality of worthiness when people who love theatre gather together to value what is strongest about its nature -- which is its welcoming embrace of the altogether unique people who are singularly responsible for creating it. I was once produced in Broadway theatres, and I now find myself working in church basements, but the essential love of theatre is present even in the most modest of circumstances, and is probably purest where compromised or minimized. We work and we fail; we work and we love; we work and we dream. The essential thing is that we work. If we are true to ourselves and to our partners in this remarkable art of theatre, we are rewarded, and it is not the prize you remember, or the parties, or the willing flesh, but the congregation of spirits who worked toward your shared goal and occasionally looked over at you and let you know that you were noticed and that you mattered.”
"Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see each other in life," Tennessee Williams says about "A Streetcar Named Desire" in Kazan's 1988 autobiography "A Life;" and in a letter opposing the movie's censoring before its release he described the story as being about "ravishment of the tender, the sensitive, the delicate, by the savage and brutal forces of modern society."