A Streetcar Named Desire

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Heinemann, 1995 - American drama - 146 pages
8 Reviews
Heinemann Plays is a well established series offering the best of contemporary drama and a wide range of established classics, in value-for-money hardback versions. The series has been specially developed to support classroom teaching and performance. Within the series there are plays for the full 11-17 age range. The series also contains the best of contemporary writing, and new editions of classic plays.

Heinemann Plays are sewn and bound in sturdy hardback covers, guaranteeing longer life. Heinemann Plays are ideal for class reading and performance, many with large casts and an equal mix of parts for boys and girls.

Set against the steamy backdrop of the New Orleans old quarter in summer, A Streetcar Named Desire depicts the conflict between a fading Southern Belle from an old colonial family and the brash, tough, lower-class, city society her sister has married into.

Familiar Tennessee Williams themes are touched on: survival, death, sexual passion, madness and the haunting legacy of the past.

This edition contains notes and activities to enhance understanding and enjoyment of the play.

 

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User Review  - jharv - Overstock.com

The low rating is probably my own fault. I thought I was buying the DVD and received a book so I am not very happy. The cover of the book has Marlon Brando on it so it looked like the movie. However ... Read full review

movie vs. book

User Review  - gailinva - Overstock.com

Since seeing the movie I definitely wanted to read the original. It was great. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.

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