A Streetcar Named Desire

Southeast Florida's New City Players

By: - Jun 18, 2024

“South Florida is going to really sink its teeth into something that is going to be magical, musical, and monumental,” award-winning South Florida director Stuart Meltzer enthuses.

And New City Players’ (NCP) Producing Artistic Director Tim Davis sounds equally excited. Clearly, he is looking forward to what he is calling “the theatrical event of the summer.”

Eight years after NCP staged a production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece The Glass Menagerie (during the company’s first year in 2016), NCP is gearing up to present another Williams masterwork. This time, the company, under Meltzer’s direction, will stage the sultry Pulitzer Prize winning drama, A Streetcar Named Desire.  

NCP will mount Streetcar from July 13-Aug. 4 at its current home, Island City Stage’s intimate black box theater space at 2304 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. The production will present 16 performances spread out over four weeks. In addition, the professional, not-for-profit, ensemble-based company has planned “some exciting additions” to the performances.

There’s a good chance that if you’ve experienced Streetcar, NCP’s version will expose you to something different. But at the same time, the company has not changed the script.

“Audiences can expect all the sexuality, sensuality, and poetry that lives in the sinew of Tennessee Williams’ writing,” says Meltzer, who also directed Streetcar at New World School of the Arts about eight years ago. “We hope to bring out the musicality of the play with a muscular approach to the storytelling. It’s very exciting.”

Due to space and budget constraints, NCP’s approach will emphasize the poetic and magical qualities of Williams’ script, rather than relying solely on realism. Also, NCP’s production employs a cast of nine, as opposed to the 12-15 actors who usually comprise a production of Streetcar.

“I am so excited for NCP’s approach to Streetcar,” says cast member Casey Sacco, who will portray Stella. “Performing in a small space has challenges that lead to lots of creativity and imagination. With Stuart Meltzer’s direction and unique eye, this will definitely be a twist on a classic that I am so excited to see come to life.”

The cast features Carbonell and Silver Palm Award-nominated actress Elizabeth Price as Blanche DuBois, Carbonell Award-winner Timothy Mark Davis as Stanley Kowalski, Sacco as Stella, and Jesus Reyna as Harold Mitchell. Also, members of the supporting cast are Alex Joyel, Inez Barlatier, Juan Gamero, Russell Kerr, and Sheena O. Murray.

Davis says theater companies often stage Streetcar because it’s a “well written masterwork of a play.” In particular, Williams has suffused the piece with drama, conflict, passion, love, lust, sensuality, sexuality, violence, humor, and “beautiful language.”

“It’s a feast for a theater artist,” Davis adds.

Davis, who read Streetcar in high school, first performed in the play during his college days at Taylor University, where Davis portrayed the kindly Mitch. Now, he’s on the other side of the poker table as the brutish Stanley. By the way, Tracy Manning, the professor who directed Davis in Streetcar, portrayed Amanda in NCP’s production of The Glass Menagerie.

Davis says “it feels kind of special for me” to act in an NCP production of a Williams play after he directed the company’s production of Menagerie.

“This show connects us back to our beginning as a company,” Davis says. “I’m thrilled to revisit this master playwright.”

While Streetcar is a widely known play, Davis says he has spoken to many people in the area who are unfamiliar with the piece. He added he is excited to introduce them to this rich, layered play.

For those unfamiliar with Streetcar, Williams wrote it during a period of change in America after World War II.

Blanche DuBois, a fading Southern Belle from Mississippi with a troubled past, moves into her sister Stella’s and brother-in-law Stanley’s New Orleans apartment during the late 1940s.

Blanche, who carries an aristocratic heritage along with her sister, is an insecure, seemingly delicate and sensitive individual. In addition, she refuses to face reality and accept the truth. Instead, she prefers to live in a fantasy world where she can hide the facts of her life. Contrastingly, Stanley is a brutish, blunt-speaking working-class realist. Almost instantly, he dislikes Blanche and can see through Blanche’s lies and delusions. As the play progresses, Stanley unearths and reveals Blanche’s ugly past, driving the fading Southern Belle mad. Throughout, Stella feels torn between her loyalty to her husband and devotion to her sister.

Gender, class, death, sexual desire, fantasy, illusion, appearances, dependence, mental illness, masculinity and physicality, are some of Streetcar’s themes. The play brims with conflict and tension, pitting southern aristocracy against working class America.

Perhaps you are most familiar with Streetcar through the 1951 film version starring Marlon Brando as Stanley and Vivien Leigh as Blanche.

Elizabeth Price, who will portray Blanche, fell in love with Streetcar as a little girl after her mother showed her the 1951 film. Ever since, Price has wanted to portray Blanche. In fact, it has topped her bucket list for some time.

Over the years, Price remained hopeful as she waited for the opportunity to tackle the role. However, years passed and that chance didn’t come, so Price accepted that it wasn’t going to.

Then, it happened. Specifically, about three and a half years ago, Davis told Price that one day NCP would stage Streetcar – and that she’d portray Blanche. And Price turned around and said that Davis would portray Stanley.

“We sort of cast each other,” Davis recalls. “It came together.”

Cast members who are portraying the piece’s major characters have worked well together and trust each other, Davis says. He added that Sacco, his fiancé, will play Stella opposite him.

“These two (Davis and Price) are people I trust with my whole heart and being able to work with them on stage (is) incredibly special to me,” Sacco says.

The performer says that while she portrayed Blanche in a couple of scenes for class, she has found the character “incredibly hard to connect to.”

“I remember thinking that the role I would most like to explore is Stella,” Sacco says. “I feel so honored to be able to play her (and) definitely feel a kinship to Stella. She loves with abandon and cares for her people.”

And what has drawn Price to Blanche?

“I have never seen a character quite like Blanche,” Price says. “She seemed ethereal and fragile but was trying to live in the world with the brutes because she had to and it was breaking her. I felt this often myself.

“Blanche and I have many, many things in common: her penchant for alcohol, for men, for connection, for magic, all paired with deep feelings of separation and longing and instability. She’s almost a cautionary tale for how I could have ended up. I think from an early age and throughout my life, I knew she and I were traveling alongside each other. Luckily, I have managed, again and again, to change my path from hers.”

Their paths have converged once again – and this time, Price has a reason to smile.

“We hear so often about holding on to your dreams, pursuing your dreams, and I think the dream of playing Blanche sustained me for a lot of years, and then to let go of the dream was what I needed to do to grow and mature. But the universe is funny, because sometimes, it’s just as you’ve given up that you are given what you most wanted. As Blanche says, ‘Sometimes, there’s God – so quickly!”


WHAT: New City Players’ upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ steamy drama, A Streetcar Named Desire.

WHEN: July 13-Aug. 4. Performances will start at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Island City Stage’s intimate black box theater, 2304 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors.

TICKETS: $40 for adults, $35 for seniors (65+), and $25 for students (under 25 with ID) except for opening night on July 13, on which an additional $5 per ticket will include a post-show reception. July 11 and 12 are $20 previews.

ALSO: Jazzy Fridays will take place following the Friday performances. Enjoy live jazz and libations after every Friday show.

Saturday Spirits with Streetcar-themed cocktails will follow every Saturday performance.

Sunday Talkbacks are for those wishing to dig deeper into the themes and history of the play, as well as step into NCP’s theater making process. Sunday talkbacks will occur following every Sunday performance.

MORE INFO: Go to or call (954) 376-6114.