Backstage at “A Streetcar Named Desire”
March 18–July 3, 2022
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
520 Royal Street, Tricentennial Wing, 1st Floor
Free ticketed admission



About the Exhibition

Seventy-five years ago this year, Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway. The first performance received a seven-minute standing ovation, and the play has virtually never disappeared from the stage since. Williams's themes of societal upheaval, dislocation, and brutality versus gentility proved universal, as productions spread around the world, to nearly every continent. Backstage at "Streetcar" combines selections from THNOC’s wide-ranging Tennessee Williams holdings—many of them seldom displayed—with loans from the Harry Ransom Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the New York Public Library, and Wesleyan University. 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. Famous objects making the trip to New Orleans for the exhibition include Thomas Hart Benton's celebrated painting Poker Night and the Oscar statue awarded to Vivien Leigh for her performance as Blanche in the 1951 film.

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The wide range of materials features objects such as the typewriter Williams used to write the play, early manuscript drafts, original playscripts, playbills, and photographs (including Vivien Leigh’s photograph collection from the shooting of the 1951 film version), as well as posters, lobby cards, first editions of published volumes, and foreign translations.