Indiana State University Newsroom



‘Streetcar Named Desire’ to play Nov. 8-12

October 28, 2017

Indiana State University's theater department will present their second fall production, Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," opening Nov. 8 in New Theater.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama aims to teach compassion through its main characters, Stanley and Stella, who live modestly in New Orleans' French Quarter. Stella's sister Blanche arrives on their doorstep after experiencing setbacks in her life -- setbacks that haunt her throughout the play. Household disruptions and tensions mount, leading to a final showdown between Stanley and Blanche that has life-changing consequences for the main characters.

Although the play was written in 1947, it will definitely connect with a modern audience, said the play's director, Arthur Feinsod.

"When you watch it, it feels like it was written yesterday," said Feinsod, professor of theater at State. "It has that immediacy of intent and high stakes as if it were written yesterday about today. I don't think anyone will see it as an old play, but I hope they see it with new eyes."

Feinsod has been waiting for the right actors to come along to bring this play -- considered among the finest of the 20th century -- to State's stage.

"It's going to be a different ‘Streetcar' than the one you're used to with the colorblind casting," Feinsod said. "This is the way our society should have looked like if we weren't slanted by intolerance, prejudice and discrimination. I want to slant us back, this time the right way."

Theater major Ally Miles of Terre Haute stars as younger sister Stella.

"This process has been one of the most positive that I've ever experienced thus far," said Miles. "I have a great relationship with the cast members, even the people I didn't know coming in. I am truly having a great time working on this play."

Miles said it didn't take long for her to understand her character. "Stella is a person who is very rooted in logic and tries to do what's best," Miles said. "She tries to salvage things and make the best of certain situations throughout the play, and I'd like to think I do the same."

The cast met prior to working on the play, and Feinsod showed them a painting by Tommy Thompson entitled "Dobro Blues."

"This painting captures the spirit and palette of this play," Feinsod said. "It's perfect for who we are and what we are doing. I sent it to our costume designer, who has been working from afar, and she used the colors from this painting to guide her color choices for the costumes. In fact, all the designers used this painting to guide color and mood artistic decisions."

While Feinsod and his cast are staying true to the script, there have been a few tweaks.

"The originally script was done on a proscenium stage, and we are on thrust stage," said Feinsod. "Being on a thrust allows for the actors to be surrounded by the audience and also allows for them to be within the crowd, which brings them more into the play. And having a large number of African Americans on stage and in the audience is very important for the exchange that we want to happen between actors and audience."

The department of theater feels they have accomplished a great deal with this production.

"It's a real celebration of the theater department that we've gotten our actors to a level that they can do work like this and pull it off," Feinsod said. "We credit all the faculty and staff for raising the bar, enabling us to do justice to this American classic. We hope the community will attend and experience the harsh realities as the world of Stanley Kowalski and the Dubois clash."

"A Streetcar Named Desire" will show 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the New Theater on Indiana State's campus, 536 N. Seventh St.

Tickets are $10, non-State student tickets are $5 (with a valid student ID) and State student tickets are free with a valid student ID. To purchase tickets, call 812-237-3333 or visit the New Theater Box Ticket, which is open noon-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour before each performance.

For more information, call 812-237-3334 or email isutheaterpub@gmail.com.

-30-

Photos: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/marketing/Marketing-General/Streetcar-Named-Desire/i-PpNLntR/0/cc07dff0/X3/10-26-2017%20Streetcar%20Named%20DEsire%20Marketing%20Material-4379-X3.jpg -- From left, Mariah Spragg is Blanche Dubois, Maverick Schmit is Stanley Kowalski and Ally Miles is Stella Kowalski in Indiana State University's production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the New Theater, 536 N. Seventh St. (Ashley Gibbons/Indiana State University Photography Services)

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/marketing/Marketing-General/Streetcar-Named-Desire/i-cCfkK3z/0/f3898c7b/X3/10-26-2017%20Streetcar%20Named%20DEsire%20Marketing%20Material-4295-X3.jpg -- Maverick Schmit stars as Stanley Kowalski in Indiana State University's production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the New Theater, 536 N. Seventh St. (Ashley Gibbons/Indiana State University Photography Services)

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/marketing/Marketing-General/Streetcar-Named-Desire/i-dxsXfBb/0/671d3330/X3/10-26-2017%20Streetcar%20Named%20DEsire%20Marketing%20Material-4550-X3.jpg -- Ally Miles stars as Stella in Indiana State University's production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," Nov. 8-12. (Ashley Gibbons/Indiana State University Photography Services)

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/marketing/Marketing-General/Streetcar-Named-Desire/i-LdwxWrg/0/0b50393a/X3/10-26-2017%20Streetcar%20Named%20DEsire%20Marketing%20Material-4481-X3.jpg -- Mariah Spragg stars as Blanche Dubois in Indiana State University's production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the New Theater, 536 N. Seventh St. (Ashley Gibbons/Indiana State University Photography Services)

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Submitted-Photos/Staff-Uploads/i-jwFqmDL/0/d9387118/O/Dobro%20Blues.jpg -- The Tommy Thompson painting "Dobro Blues" has provided inspiration to the cast and designers of "Streetcar."

Writer: Antonio Turner, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, aturner41@sycamores.indstate.edu or 812-237-3773