‘Streetcar’ kicks off Williamstown Theatre Festival season

Jessica Hecht stars as Blanche Dubois in WTF's "Streetcar Named Desire"

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire will open the Nikos Stage productions for the 2011 Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) and will run June 22 through July 3, 2011. Jessica Hecht stars as Blanche DuBois; Sam Rockwell plays Stanley Kowalski; Ana Reeder plays Blanche’s sister and Stanley’s wife, Stella; and Daniel Stewart Sherman plays Mitch.
Artistic Director Jenny Gersten announced the addition of on-stage seating for Streetcar, a WTF first. Audience members will have the opportunity to experience this already intimate production from an up-close-and-personal perspective.  Director David Cromer explains, “One of our responsibilities is to present our audiences with fresh perspectives, fresh points of view on a play. In this case, literally changing the audience’s angle on the action in the Nikos hopefully refreshes the experience.  Everyone is now that much closer to the play.”

Sam Rockwell plays Stanley Kowalski in WTF's "Streetcar Named Desire"

David Cromer (Our Town; Orson’s Shadow at WTF) returns to WTF to direct Streetcar with a cast of WTF veterans and new talents: Michael Bradley Cohen (Six Degrees of Separation at WTF) as Young Collector, Esteben Andres Cruz (Jesus Hopped the A Train) as Pablo, Jennifer Engstrom (A Red Orchid Theatre Company) as Eunice, Jessica Hecht (A View From the Bridge; Our Town at WTF) as Blanche DuBois, Vella Lovell (Camp Monster at WTF) as Mexican Woman, Crystal Lucas-Perry (WTF debut) as Negro Woman, Ana Reeder (Damages) as Stella Kowalski, Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane; The Hot L Baltimore at WTF) as Stanley Kowalski, Emily Simoness (House of Home at WTF) as Nurse, Daniel Stewart Sherman (Desire Under the Elms) as Mitch, Lou Sumrall (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune) as Steve, and Kirby Ward (Never Gonna Dance) as Doctor.

The creative team includes Collette Pollard (Set Design), Janice Paytel (Costume), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design), Josh Schmidt (Sound Design/Composer), Thom Schall (Fight Direction), and Stephen Gabis (Dialect/Vocal) Davin De Santis is the Production Stage Manager.

Ana Reeder plays Blanche's sister, Stella Kowalski, in WTF's "Streetcar Named Desire"

With 28 productions of his plays in WTF’s history, Tennessee Williams and the Williamstown Theatre Festival have had a long and impressive relationship. This intimate new production honors his centennial; in the close quarters of the Nikos Stage, the audience will take up temporary residence in the stifling Kowalski apartment to witness Williams’ turbulent tale of longing and delusion.

A Streetcar Named Desire opens the 2011 Nikos Stage productions, followed by Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch (July 6 – 17), the Sam Gold-directed A Doll’s House (July 20 – 31), Bess Wohl’s Touch(ed) (August 3 – 14), and The Civillians’ You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents’ divorce (August 16 – 21). The Main Stage productions feature Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels (June 29 – July 24), She Stoops to Conquer (July 27 – August 7) and Ten Cents a Dance (August 11 – 28).


Tickets for the 2011 Williamstown Theatre Festival season are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.wtfestival.org, by phone at 413.597.3400 or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, 1000 Main St. (Route 2), Williamstown, Mass. New curtain times for all Main Stage and Nikos Stage shows are as follows: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday at 2. For more schedule details, visit Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF).


The Williamstown Theatre Festival brings award-winning actors, directors, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors.  A WTF season covers a broad range of theatrical endeavors, revisiting classic plays with exciting new productions on its Main Stage, developing and nurturing bold new works on the Nikos Stage, and offering audiences a rich array of cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs like the Greylock Theatre Project–a program for children in neighboring North Adams. While best known for its acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to unparalleled training and professional development programs serving new generations of aspiring theatre artists and managers.  WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and the Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011. The Festival welcomes Jenny Gersten as its new Artistic Director for the 2011 season.





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