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Tennessee Williams’ classic drama of passion and power

Friday, 08 June 2018

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“It's rare and wonderful to get the chance to work on an important, big, classic play,” says director Emily McLean. “I'm looking forward to creating our own version of these iconic characters and story.”

As part of the Visiting Artists’ Program proudly supported by the Mindaroo Foundation, McLean has returned to her alma mater to direct the 3rd Year WAAPA students in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, performed in the Roundhouse Theatre from Friday, 15 to Thursday, 21 June.

One of the most famous plays of the 20th century, A Streetcar Named Desire won the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award in 1948. Since then, this gripping story of passion and power has enthralled audiences and created stars of the actors playing its lead characters.

A fading, flirtatious Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, visits her younger sister Stella and new husband Stanley Kowalski in a sweltering New Orleans. What ensues is a battle of wills between Blanche and Stanley as each attempts to stubbornly assert their authority over the other, while Blanche spectacularly unravels in the process.

The strength of this timeless play lies in its poignant character study and its psychological truth about human nature.

“It will be an interesting challenge in this safe, politically correct and much further evolved world for the students to connect, without judgement or irony, to what these characters say and do,” says McLean.

“I really want to explore the grey spaces surrounding gender – and to reach that occasionally dangerous mental and physical place in rehearsals while keeping everyone safe.”

Winner of two Equity Awards, McLean has directed for theatre companies across Perth and in 2014 was a Resident Artist for Black Swan State Theatre Company, directing the world premiere of the award-winning Dust by Suzie Miller.

She is also a founding member of Red Ryder Theatre Company, with her production of George Brant’s Grounded winning both the Members’ Choice award and Best Production at the 2016 Blue Room Awards.

Under McLean’s assured direction, the WAAPA graduating actors will bring this great American play, in all its brutal beauty, to life.

The WAAPA Visiting Artists' Program is proudly supported by the Minderoo Foundation.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the A Streetcar Named Desire performance web page.

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