Behind the scenes of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’


(Left to right) Brenna Erbst, Delia Dolce, Manuel Contreras and Taylor Mills rehearsing a scene for "A Streetcar Named Desire" in the Experimental Theatre on April 23. “I’ve been learning with different collaborations, dealing with multiple perspectives and the challenge of fragmented realities,” said Dolce of being involved in the play production. Photo credit: Hadie Tobar

Hadie Tobar

Four advanced directing students experimented with a collection of styles when putting together the production of the classic play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” with guidance from artistic director Professor Larry Biederman.

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Taylor Mills (left) as Stella Kowalski and Jasmine Ibraham (right) as Blanche DuBois running towards an embrace in a scene during a dress rehearsal for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in the Experimental Theatre on April 23. “The most iconic play of all time to have in your career and to be able to do it here at CSUN, then you’ve done it,” said Mills, a theatre major. Photo credit: Hadie Tobar

Co-directors Hannah Peterson, Darian Ramirez, Vitoria Villalobos and Nini Gioiosa casted a small ensemble to not only play multiple roles but to also, in some scenes, play their shared characters simultaneously. Each of the co-directors brings a different point of view about the story and its roles. They want to reach new audiences and inspire students to continue studying their art form by combining their four minds to design something not commonly practiced.

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Alex Lemus (left) as Mitch and Jasmine Ibraham (right) as Blanche go over a scene about the story behind a silver cigarette case during rehearsal for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in the Experimental Theatre on April 23. “His writing is incredibly beautiful and haunting, and I always enjoyed his work,” said Lemus of the playwright, Tennessee Williams. Photo credit: Hadie Tobar

Being in the play, cast members have learned more about themselves and the opportunities they experience when portraying each of their characters. Playing the roles of Stanley, Mitch, Allan and the doctor, Alex Lemus, 23, a theatre major, discovered his unique voice that he had buried inside of him.

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(From left to right) Gabriel Meeks, Jessica Jordan, Delia Dolce, Brenna Erbst and Daniel McKinley during a dress rehearsal for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in the Experimental Theatre on April 23. “A unique spinoff of the show but it’s a one-of-a-kind of ‘Streetcar Named Desire,’” said Erbst. Photo credit: Hadie Tobar

“I can express myself in different ways and produce a larger message about life in each show and character,” said Lemus.

Thanks to open communication among the directors, cast and crew, they were able to build themselves a good show in “one big collaboration effort,” as described by Brenna Erbst, 23, a theatre major. She also plays a few roles such as Blanche, Stella and Eunice. Each person involved has contributed another viewpoint to the reality of the play’s nature.

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Brian Felker as Mitch and Brenna Erbst as Blanche, rehearsing a scene for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in the Experimental Theatre on April 23. “Her entire psychosis is from being beat down from all the men. The other side is shown of what doesn’t work out and it’s important to understand that,” said Erbst of her character’s past and the circumstances Blanche faces in the story. Photo credit: Hadie Tobar

“This show shows the differences and characteristics of the human species,” said Jessica Jordan, 20, who plays Stella, Blanche, Eunice and Colored Woman.

With so many people experimenting with a variety of ideas, any production challenge serves to help the artists gain new insight into a story with multiple personalities. Whether it is changing costumes, set pieces or even characters, all performers on and off the stage are well connected with a collected expression of art.