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Lake Braddock Secondary School A Streetcar Named Desire

By • May 4th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Caught in limbo between the Old South and urban life in a desperate attempt to escape her past, Blanche Dubois regrets her travel on that streetcar by the name of Desire. In Lake Braddock Secondary School’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, they showcased each characters’ struggle in hot New Orleans.

Written in 1947, the play received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and opened on Broadway the very same year. Four years later there was a film adaptation and in 1995 there was even an opera performed. The symbolism behind the show is what makes it so poignant. Blanche, a Southern Belle, comes down to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley. The audience learns that both sets of characters have incredibly dark secrets, which they withhold from one another.

From the second he walked onstage, Kit Benz brought all the fire that was needed for Stanley Kuwolski – and some fuel to keep it going. Not once did he anticipate a line, or slip out of character, and he knew exactly what he wanted in each scene. His chemistry with Stella (Catharine Kuntz) was developed and believable, giving their dramatic moments the necessary foundation to be broken. Benz brought comedy, stage presence, and incredible character work to the Lake Braddock stage as Stan.

In the opening image of the play, Noelle Viñas gave the spice and sass of Eunice consistently and realistically. She and her husband Steve (Ben Shannon) hilariously provided a bit of comic relief through their rocky marriage. But one who we cannot forget is Tom Mason, aka Mitch. Mason did a terrific job of distinguishing the change in his character after finding out about Blanche’s secret. His motives, physicality, and espescially vocal tones had all gone through a transformation.

The technical aspects of this show were, for the most part, flawless. A two-room house, a porch, and the stairs to the second level going up behind it fit the play perfectly. Furniture in the rooms reflected the time period, just as the lighting reflected the time of day and mood. Their great props included: real coke bottles, a real rotary phone, and craziest of all, real food!

Many of the students onstage seemed to have an issue when it came to vocal variation in their line delivery, in addition to living in the moment and not anticipating what would happen next.

A Streetcar Named Desire at Lake Braddock Secondary School had its ups and downs, but successfully brought us with them on that streetcar ride through New Orleans.

by Ellen Winter of Duke Ellington School of the Arts

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