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USC master of fine arts students Jessi Noel, Yvonne Senat and Joe Mallon star in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Tennessee Williams Festival features “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “An Evening of One-Acts”

Theatre South Carolina is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of playwright Tennessee Williams with performances of his plays Sept. 30-Oct. 8 at Drayton Hall and Oct. 5-8 at Longstreet Theatre on the University of South Carolina campus.

The Tennessee Williams Festival will feature “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “An Evening of One-Acts.”

“A Streetcar Named Desire” will be performed at Drayton Hall at 8 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 6 and Oct. 7. Special performances are set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 1; 3 p.m. on Oct. 2; and 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Oct. 8. “An Evening of One Acts” will be held at 8 p.m. nightly at Longstreet Theatre.  

Tickets for “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “An Evening of One-Acts” are $16 for the general public, $14 for USC faculty, staff, seniors and military and $10 for students. The 11 p.m. show on Oct. 8 is half price. For show times and ticketing information, call 803-777-2551 or visit Theatre South Carolina’s website. 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1948, Williams’ searing drama, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” introduces theatergoers to one of his most iconic characters, the fading southern belle, Blanche DuBois. As Blanche desperately tries to hold on to her illusion of high-class nobility, she clashes with the harsh reality of life that is symbolized by her brutish brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.

Considered among the finest plays of the American stage, “A Streetcar Named Desire” explores the mental and moral ruin, the haunting loneliness and the violence of outcast Americans struggling in a relentlessly materialistic society.

“Williams really stacks the deck, but that's what makes it timeless; that's why people are still coming to this show,” said Chris Clavelli, director of the play and associate director of The Florida Repertory Theatre. “The show progresses in a way that the evening really does become a series of cliffhangers.”

The play’s cast includes theater majors Lauren Koch as Eunice, Liam MacDougall as a young collector and Brittany Anderson as a matron/nurse. Second-year master of fine arts in acting graduate student Joe Mallon portrays Stanley. Other MFA students and their roles are Jessi Noel as Stella, Yvonne Senat as Blanche and Samuel Kinsman as Mitch. The cast also includes Brittaney Chatman, broadcast journalism major, as an African-American woman, theater alumnus Trey Hobbs as Steve, visual communications major Katie McCuen as a Mexican woman, biology major Stephen Canada as Pablo and Rick Ackerman, a nondegree undergraduate, as the doctor.

The Tennessee Williams Festival also includes “An Evening of One-Acts,” with the productions of “27 Wagons Full of Cotton,” “The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” and “The Pretty Trap,” all directed by Amy Boyce Holtcamp. “This Property is Condemned,” directed by David Britt, also will be featured.

“Tennessee Williams’ writing is a wonderful blend of realism and poetry, but the poetry isn’t something put on by the author,” said Holtcamp. “The poetry in these plays is something created by the characters themselves.”

The highlight for Williams’ enthusiasts will likely be the South Carolina premiere of “The Pretty Trap,” an early, lightly toned and recently discovered version Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”  It is a story of an abandoned homemaker, Amanda, struggling to help her family find its way. The play’s cast includes master of fine arts in acting graduate students Catherine Friesen as Amanda, Amanda Forstrom as Laura, Andy Hernandez as Tom and Don Russell as Jim.

In “27 Wagons Full of Cotton,” Jake Meighan sets the local Syndicate Plantation ablaze to boost his own cotton ginning business.The play’s cast includes master of fine arts in acting graduate students Don Russell as Jake, Amanda Forstrom as Flora and Andy Hernandez as Silva.

 “The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” portrays the fantasies and delusions of purported Brazilian plantation owner Mrs. Hardwick-Moore who is conflict with her landlord and finds alliances with a character named “the writer.”  The play’s cast includes Catherine Friesen as Mrs. Hardwick-Moore, Amanda Forstrom as Mrs. Wire and Andy Hernandez as the writer, graduate students of master of fine arts in acting. 

“This Property is Condemned” is the story of a 13-year-old girl, Willie, living on a railroad embankment in Mississippi. After being abandoned by her parents and her older sister, Willie has dropped out of school and lives alone. The cast includes psychology major Catherine Davenport as Willie and theater major, William Vaughn as Tom. 

Britt, the director, said, “It’s sad; it’s funny; it’s tragic ... it’s Tennessee Williams.”

For more information, contact Kevin Bush at 803-777-9353 or bushk@mailbox.sc.edu.

 

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Posted: 09/16/11 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/07/11 @ 2:39 PM | Permalink

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