Forget every other version of A Streetcar Named Desire you have ever seen. This opening production of the Tennessee Williams classic will make your jaw drop. But if you don’t go with a completely open mind, you might start comparing it with other Streetcars you have seen, and that would be a mistake. Wipe the slate clean, then fasten that seat belt, this production soars into the theatrical stratosphere.
There has been a lot of speculation about the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s new artistic director Jenny Gersten’s course for this venerable company. While she is no stranger to WTF, she is now fully at the helm for the first time with everyone watching. They’ll be using this first play of the new season as a barometer of which way the company is headed.
When speaking with her this past March (interview link here), I asked Gersten about Streetcar, especially since David Cromer had done a very different take on it in Chicago at the Writer’s Theatre. She ventured that “what we are heading for is a different experience of the play than has been felt in the past. The design of the stage for the Nikos is going to be very unusual. In our conversations David’s take on the play is that the Kowalski apartment feels very claustrophobic, which is very much part of the text.”