A Streetcar Named Desire


date: 8 April 2017

run time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi, his mother the daughter of a minister and his father a shoemaker; he came from the prestigious Tennessee family, which offered the state of Mississippi its first governor and first senator. Perhaps this prompted him to write about the place where, at that time, two typologies of America clashed: the heirs of the first European settlers, educated and respectable bourgeois, and those of a new generation, that of the blue collars. Through the attitude to life that he portrays through the curves of parables, Williams creates a gallery of conflictual portraits, psychological models (portraits of social incomprehension, as well as and of inner incomprehension), which he laments rather than love: even the play “A Streetcar Named Desire” has been called “a tragedy of incomprehension”.

“Desire” is the name of a streetcar line that crosses a neighbourhood in New Orleans, stopping at “Cemeteries” and “Elysian Fields”; one day it brings in Blanche DuBois, with a suitcase, some clothes and many unspoken things, in the house of her sister, Stella. Neurotic, alcohol-dependent, with a hypertrophied sensitivity, Blanche believes that one can always have a new beginning in life. She is woefully wrong. The first question she is asked is “How long are you staying?”, since the Belle Reve Plantation, where the sisters came from, a white house with sumptuous columns, belonging to a rich bourgeois family, is a far cry from the dump in which Stella and Stanley live: a single room kitchen-bedroom-living room, located on the outskirts, a place where there is no privacy, a place where everyone knows everything about everyone, loves and fights taking place within earshot of the neighbours. At the border between manipulation and affection, the atmosphere becomes unbearable when Stanley Kowalski, basically a Polish worker, without manners, tries to open his wife’s eyes to her older sister’s behaviour, even bringing her evidence. Illusions and vain searches, the characters desire each other, but they desire peace even more. They desire to escape the past.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” is a complex drama, almost a distorted expression of nihilism, an absurd sense of existence, beyond comic or tragic, with strong biological-sexual elements, in which instincts are not restrained by reason and conveniences.

“Desires, dreams, hopes. Where do they take us? How many are fulfilled and at what price? How many times have you not sought happiness, love? If you choose to get on our streetcar, you will discover new valences of these desires we chase all our lives.

It is an honour for me to be able to stage a masterpiece of American drama at the National Athenaeum in Iasi. For this reason, but also because I am on my third collaboration as a director for the Athenaeum main stage, I think I have a very difficult mission to fulfil…” (Andrei Ciobanu, director)

Script and direction: Andrei Ciobanu

Stage design: Cătălin Târziu

Light design: Lucian Țurcanu


Erica Moldovan / Ramona Dorneanu – Blanche

Daniel Onoae – Stanley

Irina Frunză – Stella

Codrin Dănilă – Mitch

Mara Lucaci / Ana Hegyi – Eunice

Ionut Gînju – Steve

Dragoş Maftei – Streetcar driver

Luca Afrisinei – Stanley Jr.