Transcription

ASTREET 111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111.1 1'1NEW DIRECTIONSBOOK

All Rights Reserved, inclurIin, the right of reproduction in wholeor in part in any form.Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned thatA Streetcar Named Desire, being fully protected under the copyright laws of The United States, the British Empire includin,the Dominion of Canada, and all other countries of the CopyrightUnion, is subject to royalty. All rights, including professional,amateur, motion-picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radioand television broadcasting, and the rights of translation intoforeign languages, are strictly reserved. Particular emphasis is laidon the question of readings, permission for which must be obtainedin writing from the author's agents. All enquiries should beaddressed to the author's agents: Liebling-Wood,551 Fifth Avenue,New York City.CAUTION:"It's Only A Paper Moon" copyright 1933 by Harms, Inc. Usedby permission.The lines from Hart Crane are reprinted from "Collected Poemsof Hart Crane" by permission of Liveright Publishing Corp., N.Y,EIGHTH ED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICANew Directions Books are published by James LaughlinNew York Ofjice-333 Sixth Avenue

'1111111A Streetcar Named Desire was presented at theBarrymore Theatre in New York on December3,1947, by Irene Selznick. It was directed by EliaKazan,with the following cast:Negro WomanGee Gee JamesEunice HubbellPeg HilliasStanley KowalskiMarlon BrandoStella KowalskiKim HunterSteve HubbellRudy BondHarold Mitchell (Mitch»Karl MaldenMexican WomanEdna ThomasBlanche DuBoisJessica TandyPablo Gonzale1 Nick DennisA Young CollectorVito ChristiNurseAnn DereDoctorRichard GarrickScenery and lighting by Jo Meilziner, costumesby Lucinda Ballard. The action of the play takesplace in the spring, summer, and early fall inNew Orleans. It was performed with intermissions after Scene Four and Scene Six.Assistant to the producerMusical AdvisorIrving SchneiderLehman Engel

111 .THE OA NEGRO WOMANA DOCTORA NURSEA YOUNG COLLECTORA MEXICAN WOMAN111 . 111.11111111111 . 1111 . 1111 . 11 . 1 . ' . '111111 . 11111111111111111111IIIIIIIIIIIIIUIIIIIIIIII

And so it was 1 entered the broken worldTo trace the visionary company of love, its voiceAn instant in the wind (1 know not whither hurled)But not for long to hold each desperate choice."The Broken Tower" by Hart Crane

S(;ENE ONEnllllllllll ,II II IIIIIII.IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII" 111111111 11111.1The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street inNew Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runsbetween the L&N tracks and the The section ispoor but, unlike co"esponding sectIons in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostlywhite frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairsand galleries and quaintly ornamented gables. Thisbuilding contains two flats, upstairs and down. Fadedwhite stairs ascend to the entrances of both.It is first dark of an evening early in May. The sky thatshows around the dim white building is a peculiarlytender blue, almost a turquoise, which invests the scenewith a kind of lyricism and gracefully attenuates theatmosphere of decay. You can almost feel the warmbreath of the brown river beyond the river warehouseswith their faint redolences of bananas and coffee. A corresponding air is evoked by the music of Negro entertainers at a ba"oom around the corner. In this part ofNew Orleans you are practically always just around thecorner, or a few doors down the street, from a tinny pianobeing played with the infatuated fluency of brown fingers. This "Blue Piano" expresses the spirit of the lifewhich goes on here.Two women, one white and one colored, are taking theair on the steps of the building. The white woman isEunice, who occupies the upstairs flat; the colored woman a neighbor, for New Orleans is a cosmopolitan citywhere there is a relatively warm and easy interminglingof races in the old part of town.Above the music of the "Blue Piano" the voices of peopleon the street can be heard 111111111 . 111111.1111111 . 1111111.[Two men come around the corner, Stanley Kowalskiand Mitch. They are about twenty-eight or thirty years9

SCENE 11111111'11111.111.11. 11 . 11.11 . 111111111,.11 . 11111111111.1111111IIIIold, roughly dressed in blue denim work clothes. Stanleycarries his bowling jacket and a red-stained package froma butcher's. They stop at the foot of the steps.]STANLEY[bellowing]:Hey, therel Stella, Baby![Stella comes out on the first floor landing, a gentleyoung woman, about twenty-five, and of a background obviously quite different from her husband's.][mildly]:STELLADon't holler at me like that. Hi, Mitch.STANLEY:Catch!STELLA:What?STANLEY:Meat![He heaves the package at her. She cries out in protestbut manages to catch it: then she laughs breathlessly.Her husband and his companion have already startedback around the corner.]STELLA[calling after him] :Stanley I Where are you going?STANLEY:Bowling ISTELLA:Can I come watch?STANLEY:Come on. [He goes out.]STELLA:Be over soon. [To the white woman] Hello, Eunice.How are you?10

SCENE ONE11111111.",11111 11.1,1'1'11111111111"11 111111'1111111111 11111111.11EUNICE:I'm all right. Tell Steve to get him a poor boy's sandwich'cause nothing's left here.[They all laugh; the colored woman does not stop.Stella goes out.]COLORED WOMAN:What was that package he th'ew at 'er? [She rises fromsteps, laughing louder.]EUNICE:You hush, nowlNEGRO WOMAN:Catch whatl[She continues to laugh. Blanche comes around thecorner, carrying a valise. She looks at a slip of paper,then at the building, then again at the slip and againat the building. Her expression is one of shocked disbelief. Her appearace is incongruous to this setting. Sheis daintily dressed in a white suit with a (luffy bodice,necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat,looking as if she were arriving at asummer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. She is about five yearsolder than Stella. Her delicate beauty must avoid astrong light. There is something about her uncertainmanner, as well as her white clothes, that suggests amoth.]EUNICE [finally]:What's the matter, honey? Are you los.t?BLANCHE [with faintly hysterical humor] :They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and thentransfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks andget off at-Elysian FieldslEUNICE:That's where you are now.II

SCENE ONE.1111111111 . 11 . 111 . 111111 . 1111 . 11111111111111111111111111111111111BLANCHE:At Elysian Fields?EUNICE:This here is Elysian Fields.BLANCHE:They mustn't have-understood-what number Iwanted .EUNICE:What number you lookin' for?[Blanche wearily refers to the slip of paper.]BLANCHE:Six thirty-two.EUNICE:You don't have to look no further.BLANCHE [uncomprehendingly 1:I'm looking for my sister, Stella DuBois. I mean-Mrs.Stanley Kowalski.EUNICE:That's the party.-You just did miss her, though.BLANCHE:This-can this be-her home?EUNICE:She's got the downstairs here and I got the up.BLANCHE:Oh. She's-out?EUNICE:You noticed that bowling alley around the corner?BLANCHE:I'm-not sure I did.EUNICE:Well, that's where she's at, watchin' her husband bowl.[There is a pause ] You want to leave your suitcase herean' go find her?12

SCENE 11"11111111111"1'1BLANCHE:No.NEGRO WOMAN:I'll go tell her you come.BLANCHE:Thanks.NEGRO WOMAN:You welcome. [She goes out.]EUNICE:She wasn't expecting you?BLANCHE:No. No, not tonight.EUNICE:Well, why don't you just go in and make yourself athome till they get back.BLANCHE:How could I-do that?EUNICE:We own this place so I can let you in.[She gets up and opens the downstairs door. A lightgoes on behind the blind, turning it light blue. Blancheslowly follows her into the downstairs flat. The surrounding areas dim out as the interior is lighted.][Two rooms can be seen,not too clearly defined. Theone first entered is primarily a kitchen but contains afolding bed to be used by Blanche. The room beyondthis is a bedroom. Off this room is a narrow door to abathroom.]EuNlcE [defensively, noticing Blanche's look] :It's sort of messed up right now but when it's clean it'sreal sweet.13

SCENE 111111111111111111111 . '1BLANCHE:Is it?EUNICE:Uh-huh, I think so. So you're Stella's sister?BLANCHE:Yes. [Wanting to get rid of her] Thanks for letting meffi.EUNICE:Por nada, as the Mexicans say, por nadal Stella spokeof you.BLANCHE:Yes?EUNICE:I think she said you taught school.BLANCHE:Yes.EUNICE:And you're from Mississippi, huh?BLANCHE:Yes.EUNICE:She showed me a picture of your home-place, the plantation.BLANCHE:Belle Reve?EUNICE:A great big place with white columns.BLANCHE:Yes .EUNICE:A place like that must be awful hard to keep up.14

SCENE 1111111111.1111 11111111,1 11 . 111111111 ,.1111.11.1111,1111111111111.1.111BLANCHE:If you will excuse me, I'm just about to drop.EUNICE:Sure, honey. Why don't you set down?BLANCHE:What I meant was I'd like to be left alone.EUNICE [offended]:Aw. I'll make myself scarce, in that case.BLANCHE:I didn't mean to be rude, butEUNICE:I'll drop by the bowling alley an' hustle her up. [She goesout the door.][Blanche sits in a chair very stiffly with her shouldersslightly hunched and her legs pressed close togetherand her hands tightly clutching her purse as if shewere quite cold. After a while the blind look goes outof her eyes and she begins to look slowly around. Acat screeches. She catches her breath with a startledgesture. Suddenly she notices something in a halfopened closet. She springs up and crosses to it, andremoves a whiskey bottle. She pours a half tumbler ofwhiskey and tosses it down. She carefully replaces thebottle and washes out the tumbler at the sink. Thenshe resumes her seat in front of the table.]BLANCHE [faintly to herself] :I've got to keep hold of myself![Stella comes quickly around the corner of the building and runs to the door of the downstairs flat.]STELLA [calling out joyfully]:Blanche![For a moment they stare at each other. Then Blanchesprings up and runs to her with a wild cry.]IS

SCENE 1111111111 . 11111111111111111BLANCHE:Stella, oh, Stella, Stella! Stella for Star![She begins to speak with feverish vivacity as if shefeared for either of them to stop and think. They catcheach other in a spasmodic embrace.]BLANCHE:Now, then,. let me look at you. But don't you look atme, Stella, no, no, no, not till later, not till I've bathedand rested! And turn that over-light off! Turn that off!I won't be looked at in this merciless glare! [Stellalaughs and complies] Come back here nowl Oh, mybaby! Stella! Stella for Star! [She embraces her again]I thought you would never come back to this horribleplace! What am I saying? I didn't mean to say that. Imeant to be nice about it and say-Oh, what a convenient location and such-Ha-a-hal Precious lamb! Youhaven't said a word to me.STELLA:You haven't given me a chance to, honey I [She laughs,but her glance at Blanche is a little anxious.]BLANCHE:Well, now you talk. Open your pretty mouth and talkwhile I look around for some liquor I I know you musthave some liquor on the place! Where could it be, I wonder? Oh, I spy, I spy![She rushes to the closet and removes the bottle,' sheis shaking all over and panting for breath as she triesto laugh. The bottle nearly slips from her grasp.]STELLA[noticing]:Blanche, you sit down and let me pour the drinks. I don'tknow what we've got to mix with. Maybe a coke's in theicebox. Look'n see, honey, while I'm16

SCENE ONE,11 1111111111111 1111111111111111111111111.11111, 1111.111 11111""0BLANCHE:No coke, honey, not with my nerves tonightl Wherewhere-where is-?STELLA:Stanley? Bowlingl He loves it. They're having a-foundsome soda I-tournament .BLANCHE:Just water, baby, to chase itl Now don't get worried, yoursister hasn't turned into a drunkard, she's just all shakenup and hot and tired and dirty! You sit down, now, andexplain this place to me I What are you doing in a placelike this?STELLA:Now, BlancheBLANCHE:Oh, I'm not going to be hypocritical, I'm going to be honestly critical about it! Never, never, never in my worstdreams could I picture- Only Poe! Only Mr. EdgarAllan Poe !-could do it justice! Out there I suppose isthe ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir! [She laughs.]STELLA:No, honey, those are the L & N tracks.BLANCHE:No, now seriously, putting joking aside. Why didn't youtell me, why didn't you write me, honey, why didn't youlet me know?[carefully, pouring herself a drink]:Tell you what, Blanche?STELLABLANCHE:Why, that you had to live in these conditions!STELLA:Aren't you being a little intense about it? It's not thatbad at alII New Orleans isn't like other cities.17

SCENE 11111111111111111111111111.1BLANCHE:This h