Sex, Lies and 'Streetcar'

Jan 12, 2017

Community Players in Bloomington is staging "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Credit vyla / Flickr via Creative Commons

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire features an uneasy - and eventually explosive -- chemistry of class, gender politics and sex. Community Players is staging the iconic show beginning this weekend.

Directed by long-time Players member Dave Krostal, the play features Kayla Pulliam as the faded southern belle, Blanche Dubois.

"Every female actor wants to play Blanche," said Pulliam of the play's sensitive protagonist. "The role has everything.  She's got her ups and her downs, and just the descent into madness.  The madness itself is challenging, but the descent is what I found to be the most difficult.  at the beginning, she's the fragile person who is holding it together with the strength that she has, and then we slowly start to see it crumble. And that's fascinating to me."

The friction between the opposing personalities of Blanche and her working-class brother-in-law, Stanley drives Streetcar.  "There's a physicalness about Stanley that is essential," explained director Dave Krostal. "He's a victim of circumstance of the social norms of that time.  He's the Alpha male."

Blanche prefers to view reality in a soft, gentile, more pleasing light.  Stanley strips it to the down and dirty, Blanche's polar opposite.  Their two backgrounds fight against each other and create tension in the small apartment they share with Blanche's sister, Stella.  "Stella is in the middle," Pulliam said. "They both love Stella, and so must coexist, while their different backgrounds fight against each other."

"Tennessee Williams questions why we cannot live together in a world where everyone accepts everybody else," said Krostal. "That makes the play very contemporary and speaks to today.  We need to be working with each other and for each other in a larger community. Compassion is the key." 

The show runs Jan. 13 - 22, with a preview on the 12th.