America's Oldest · Founded 1808

A classic comes home! Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire

December 22, 2008

Jeffrey Coon and Susan Riley Stevens as Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. (Photo: Mark Garvin).

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 200th anniversary season with Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. This all-new production of Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatic masterpiece erupts onto the Walnut stage with powerfully emotional themes brought to life amid the steamy urban jungle of 1940's New Orleans. The production runs January 13 through March 1 on the Walnut Street Theatre Mainstage.

In the fall of 1947, Broadway's hottest young writer brought a new play to the Walnut Street Theatre prior to Broadway. It was an exotic, passionate and dramatic story, with performances so raw they changed the American approach to acting for generations to come. Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire went on to become a major sensation on Broadway and in Hollywood, launching the career of Marlon Brando and winning a Tony Award for Jessica Tandy.

Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, A Streetcar Named Desire tells the tragic tale of a faded Southern belle, Blanche DuBois. This journey of delicate indiscretions, lost dreams and brutish actions leads Blanche to madness, aided by her masculine and animalistic brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. One of the greatest dramas of the 20th century returns to the place of its birth as part of the Walnut's 200th Anniversary season.

The cast of Streetcar is made up of some of the most talented stage actors in Philadelphia, including Jeffrey Coon (Stanley Kowalski), Susan Riley Stevens (Blanche DuBois), Grace Gonglewski (Eunice), Scott Greer (Mitch), Dan Olmstead, Evan Jonigkeit, Hazel Bowers, Joilet Harris, Laura Gaspari and John Russell. Other cast members new to Philadelphia include Sandra Struthers (Stella) and Ephraim López. In terms of critical acclaim, the cast and creative staff of the Walnut's Streetcar has accounted for an astounding 33 Barrymore Award nominations (with 9 wins among them).

Directing Streetcar is Walnut Street Theatre veteran Malcolm Black. Malcolm's experience ranges all across the United States and elsewhere. His extensive credits at the Walnut span over 25 years, and include Damn Yankees, The Constant Wife, Trying, Enchanted April and last season's Studio 3 production of Quartet. He is joined in this endeavor by Set and Lighting Designer Paul Wonsek. Paul's experience at the Walnut has included the intricate Set and Lighting Designs for Enchanted April, The Constant Wife, Trying and Lost in Yonkers. Award-winning Costume Designer Ellis Tillman also boasts come impressive credits: he has created over 60 Costume Designs, including the costumes of Enchanted April, Lost in Yonkers and The Constant Wife. Ellis is a nine-time nominee and three-time winner of the Carbonell Award for Excellence in Theatre. The production staff also includes Sound Designer Christopher Colucci, who has created the soundscapes for close to a dozen Walnut Street Theatre productions. Christopher was recently awarded the 2008 Best Sound Design Barrymore Award for 1812 Productions' Suburban Love Songs. The production also features original music by Laura Burton.