PSC production of A Streetcar Named Desire: inside the life of student actors

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PSC production of A Streetcar Named Desire: inside the life of student actors

By: Nicole Needles

A Streetcar Named Desire’s opening night will be on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Ashmore Auditorium on the Pensacola campus. Other show times are March 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee performance on March 5 at 2:30 p.m. PSC students get in free with their ID.

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” These words of playwright Tennessee Williams ring true for many people today. A Streetcar Named Desire, written by the same playwright, will be the “present moment” that a group of Pensacola State College (PSC) students will be living this March.

“Proving to myself I can do it has been really satisfying” says Ashley McGlothran, who plays Blanche Dubois “also getting to know the cast and crew has been so fun.” Rehearsals every weeknight since auditions in January have brought the cast closer than the average niche of college students.

Jessica Freeman, who plays Eunice in the production says, “My favorite part of this experience is getting to play character that is so different from myself” Eunice is a very loud character who makes her presence felt and Jessica describes herself as shy and reserved.

The finished product on opening night does not get that way without a few bumps in the road. Students must manage their jobs, families, and workload along with their production. “It’s been a little exhausting, but very much worth all the sleepiness.” McGlotharan says.

“I have a fantastic husband, and he has been playing Mr. Mom with our 3 year old every night while I am at rehearsal.”

Jessica Freeman says “at one point, I was memorizing a Shakespeare scene for class, a skit for church, and my part in the play. I also have to go straight from work to rehearsal. It’s not easy and it’s very tiring, but I think I’ve found a balance.”

A Streetcar Named Desire has some darker elements that add to the plot of the play. Blanche Dubois has a dark past that affects her character in the play. “It definitely takes a toll on me to tap into the mental instability and fragility of Blanche” McGlotharan says “I am physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of every rehearsal.”

Freeman says “I think the main idea of the play is that not every story has a happy ending, no matter how much you root for the main character”. The trauma of Blanche Dubois’ past and the mental and sexual abuse of her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, played by Keegan Sweet, bring up some issues that people still face today.

The students’ jobs as actors in a play are to portray to the audience the original intent of the playwright. Tennessee Williams intended for this play to convey the real problem of mental health. Freeman says “I hope the audience realizes the huge stigma behind mental health in the 1940s.”

McGlotharan says, “I want the audience to see that [Blanche] is human and has been put through quite a lot. The horrible things she’s seen and had happened to her have made her the way that she is and her actions are her only means of survival. It’s all she knows.”