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A Streetcar Named Desire

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Henry Okigbo

on 1 July 2013

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Transcript of A Streetcar Named Desire

Set-backs II
Failed military training (ROTC), and was removed by his father.
Worked at his father's shoe company, and continued to write stories
Struggled to find his own place within a critical oppressive society
Used his own experiences as influences to his works
Started writing at 12, published his first story at 16
Nicknamed "Tennessee" by fraternity for his southern accent
Involved with Mummers, a semi-professional St. Louis theater group that specialized in plays of social protest.
His first play, "Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay!", a farce about sailors.
Tennessee Williams:
revolutionary playwright,
artist, and man
By : Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire
Considered one of the greatest American playwrights of all time
Early Life
Thomas Lanier Williams III
Born March 26, 1911 in Colombus, Mississippi
Father : Cornelius Coffin Williams
Mother : Edwina Dakin Williams
Early years as a writer
Studied Journalism at the University of Missouri, 1929-1932
Spent majority of his time on his typewriter
Received his B.A. in English at the University of Iowa, 1938
Early Set-backs
Suffered from diphtheria at age 5, that confined him.
His sister, Rose, was lobotomized for schizophrenia in 1937
As a child he Wasn't considered as masculine or robust by his father.
Transformed his dysfunctional upbringing into inspiration for many of his plays and characters.
The strongest influences
in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that's true of everyone else, don't you?
- Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie
First major success!
The Glass Menagerie premiered on December 26, 1944. A memory play, that focuses on the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. Tom is a character in the play, which is set in St. Louis in 1937. He is an aspiring poet who toils in a shoe warehouse to support his mother, Amanda, and sister, Laura.
Opened in New York
Starring an unknown Marlon Brando
Rise to Fame
A Streetcar Named Desire
Dec 3, 1947 - Premiered on Broadway
Won Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Awards
Ran for 855 performances
Streetcar : the film
Main Characters :
Blanche Dubois : Vivien Leigh
Stanley Kowalski : Marlon Brando
Director : Elia Kazan
Launched careers of Elia Kazan (director), Williams, and Brando
"He is the marker. There's "before Brando" and "after
- Director Martin Scorsese
Translated in nearly 25 languages and staged all over the world
A Ballet
Adaptations II
2 Television Films
Other Plays
The Rose Tattoo (1951)
Camino Real (1953)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955, Pulitzer Prize)
Orpheus Descending (1957)
Suddenly Last Summer (1958)
Sweet Bird of Youth (1959)
The Night of the Iguana (1961)
In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel (1969)
The Two - Character Play/ Out Cry (1967, 1971)
The Red Devil Battery Sign (1975)
Clothes for a Summer Hotel (1980)
Historical and Political Context
Written right after World War II
United States was emerging as a Superpower
Pre- Cold War : East (Soviet Union) vs West (USA)
Americans vs Immigrants
Cotton plantations impoverished by slavery
Racism was controversial topic in the 1940s
1940 - 1945
Lived on grants from the Rockfeller Foundation and the Academy of Arts and Sciences
Wrote scripts for MGM in Hollywood
Earned wages as a waiter-entertainer at Greenwich Village.
Stanley and Blanche
Full transcript