Friday, June 12, 2009
New Harmony Theatre's 2009 season opens this weekend
Tennessee Williams once said that "In New Orleans, there are two streetcars that run along one track, and one is named Desire, and the other is named Cemeteries. So they sum up all of life..." In his subsequent review of "A Streetcar Named Desire," Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times called Williams "A genuinely poetic playwright whose knowledge of people is honest and thorough and whose sympathy is profoundly human," and called the play "The most imaginative and perceptive ... [Williams]]]]]]]] has written ... for he has not forgotten that human beings are the basic subject of art. Out of poetic imagination and ordinary compassion he has spun a poignant and luminous story."
"A Streetcar Named Desire" debuted on Broadway in 1947 to tremendous acclaim and was made into a wildly popular film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in 1951. Set in New Orleans' French Quarter during the restless years following World War II, it centers on Blanche, a fragile hothouse flower whose allure is intense but fading. Running from her crumbling dreams and the demons of her past, she seeks shelter with her sister, Stella. Blanche quickly finds her most lethal adversary in Stanley, Stella's crude, carnal husband. According to Leibowitz, "The clash between these two titanic personalities unleashes fire and poetry and brings into sharp relief the eternal struggle between idealism and cynicism, compassion and cruelty."
Leibowitz continued, "'Streetcar' possesses inexhaustible mystery and power. It can be interpreted endlessly and will never yield up all of its riches. The writing is sensual and poignant, and the drama is electric. The play is like a flare in the darkness a cry for compassion an entreaty for us not to relinquish our souls to the jungle." New Harmony Theatre's 2009 season celebrates the American dreamer, and according to Leibowitz, Blanche DuBois, the central character in "A Streetcar Named Desire," is an iconic American dreamer because "in the midst of disaster and impending doom, as her lifeline to sanity frays, Blanche holds onto her gallantry and her non-conformist spirit, right up until her final moment of transcendence."
Eileen Ward-Cutts, an audience favorite in New Harmony Theatre's 2008 production of "Crimes of the Heart" and The Repertory Project productions of "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Waiting for Lefty," takes on the iconic role of Blanche DuBois, first played in a Tony Award-winning performance by Jessica Tandy on the Broadway stage, and memorably created on film in an Academy Award-winning performance by Vivien Leigh. Newcomer Hamish Allan-Headley, a New York-based Canadian-American actor, takes on the equally iconic role of Stanley Kowalski, originated on stage and film by Marlon Brando.
The company includes Broadway veteran Sarah Dacey Charles as Eunice and New York and regional theatre actors Stacey Linnartz as Stella and Ryan Thomas Dunn as Mitch. The cast is rounded out by Mike Bash as Pablo and the Young Collector University of Southern Indiana students and alums Joshua Buente as the Doctor, Jeff Dumond as Steve, and Nicole Whitney as the Nurse and the Neighbor Woman and Amanda A. Lederer as an ensemble member.
New York-based scenic designer Tijana Bjelajac returns to New Harmony Theatre for a third season to design the scenery for "A Streetcar Named Desire." Shan Jensen will design the costumes Craig A. Young will design the lighting and Katherine Jasmann will design the sound.
"A Streetcar Named Desire" plays at Murphy Auditorium at 419 Tavern Street in New Harmony. It contains adult language and themes. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (60 and over), and $10 for anyone 25 or younger. Show times are as follows: Friday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 14 at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 21 at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 28 at 2 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 812/682-3115 or toll free at 1-877-NHT-SHOW (648-7469), or visit the theatre's web site at www.newharmonytheatre.com.
USI Theatre/New Harmony Theatre
812/465-7110 or firstname.lastname@example.org