NEW ORLEANS: “Is that streetcar named desire still grinding along the tracks at this hour?” asks Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire.
Seventy-five years ago this year, the three-act drama premiered on Broadway. The first performance received a seven-minute standing ovation, and the play, set in New Orleans, has not since disappeared from the stage.
The Historic New Orleans Collection premiere exhibit, “Backstage at ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,'” combines selections from museum’s wide-ranging Tennessee Williams holdings—many of them seldom displayed—with loans from around the world.
Through July 3, 2022, visitors can read director Elia Kazan’s stage notes, listen to a rare recording of the original Broadway production, enjoy interpretations of the play in popular culture, and see photographs and ephemera from different productions around the world.
Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. (The Fred W. Todd Tennessee Williams Collection at The Historic New Orleans Collection)