Clarence Brown Theatre Opens 35th Season with “A Streetcar Named Desire”

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KNOXVILLE – The Clarence Brown Theatre will open its 35th season with Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Dale Dickey, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, on the main stage. The production will feature original music by Lucas Richman and is sponsored by Schaad Companies. It contains adult themes.

Genteel and pretentious, Blanche DuBois, having lost her teaching job and the family plantation home, comes to stay in New Orleans with her sister, Stella, who is married to brutish Stanley Kowalski. Blanche, full of airs and graces, is looking for a husband but Kowalski exposes her life as a small town prostitute and seducer of young boys to her sole suitor, Mitch. In a final power struggle over the loyalty of his wife, Kowalski rapes Blanche and she is taken away to an asylum.

A Streetcar Named Desire premiered in New York in 1947. The play cemented Williams’ reputation as one of the greatest American playwrights, winning him a New York’s Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

“Streetcar not only brought fame to its author and principal actors, but it helped to bring definition to the post-war American character—or at least a significant aspect of the character,” said director Calvin MacLean. “Blanche and Stanley, Stella and Mitch are as American as apple pie—as close to you and me as Hamlet is still to the English, or Oedipus was to the ancient Greeks. Blanche and Stanley’s story puts the latter part of our last century into a deeper perspective—and our current time into a fresher one.”

MacLean is UT Theatre Department Head and CBT Company Artistic Director. Lucas Richman, who has served as Music Director for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) for the past seven years, composed the original music for this production. UT Theatre Department alumna Dale Dickey will star as Blanche. Chicago resident Peter DeFaria will play the role of Mitch. Playing the roles of Stanley and Stella Kowalski are Graduate Acting students Matthew Ventura and Jessica Ripton.

A preview of the show is Thursday, Sept. 3, followed by opening night Friday, Sept. 4. The show runs through Sunday, Sept. 20. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 974-5161 or visit www.clarencebrowntheatre.com.

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