A Streetcar Named Desire, one of the best films ever to grace the silver screen of old Hollywood as well as the most interesting of Tennessee Williams’ plays, is being performed for your viewing pleasure at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro, 110 W. College St.
This is a production not to be missed, as it will (unlike the film) take more from the original play pertaining to a queer view of the work.
Putting on the play are the Center Players, a non-profit, all volunteer organization focused on giving support to the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro, and they are sincere in their desire to present thought-provoking theater as well as classics, comedies and musicals.
Playing Blanche DuBois, the fading relic of the old south, is Elyce Rae Helford. She is the director of the women and gender studies minor program at MTSU and is currently writing a book on George Cukor. Helford is also an out bisexual.
"I envision Blanche as a strong woman driven to collapse, not as a frail and broken creature from the minute she walks out on stage," says Helford. "Watching this privileged woman who has seen more death than any one human being should makes more of a tragedy than a moth dying in a candle flame, we feel."
Seldom do we get the opportunity to experience, or re-experience, an old treasure like Streetcar with new artistic and literary conclusions drawn from the original text. Many cherished works of art, literary and otherwise, have had certain meanings lost over time, and it is a great treat indeed when we get to relive the classics with a more contemporary, and in this case queer, world view.
"My personal opinion is that there are other homo-social (if not homo-erotic) implications in the text, including the naive Mitch’s need for Stanley’s approval," suggests Helford. "He wants to belong, but perhaps he also wants to be just like Stanley [who symbolizes masculine power.] I see this as suggesting an adoration that can be portrayed as having homo-erotic overtones, though this production is not aimed in that direction overtly."
If you’ve never seen the old Hollywood classic, I suggest renting Streetcar locally, but if you are a glutton for surprise, wait until after you see the play to watch the film. Either way, this is a must-see for everyone interested in clever dialogue and gripping story lines.
Production dates for the play are Nov. 8-11 and 15-17. Be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible, as this show may sell out fast. Call to reserve tickets at 615-904-ARTS (2787), or for more details about the center visiy www.boroarts.org.
This is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Streetcar’s 60th anniversary, so don’t miss it!