By Windy Locke

Courtney Patterson as Blanche DuBois.  Photo courtesy BCC

I had an opportunity to attend opening weekend of Daniel May’s compelling direction of A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams’ beloved masterwork, at the Sylvia Beard Theatre.

As the play opens, the audience is instantly transported out of the cold and into a steamy summer night in the Deep South. The Southern classic takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana circa 1947. The set design is true to the era though only a minimal backdrop of the Kowalski apartment as the actors create the imagery of the French Quarter. Lighting and sound are used masterfully throughout the play as well.

Courtney Patterson delivers an extraordinary performance as Southern Belle Blanche DuBois, the complex yet delicate protagonist of the story, who wishes to live in a world of semi-illusion. Justin Walker and Stephanie Friedman also deliver thought-provoking performances as Stanley and Stella Kowalski, helping the audience to understand the male-female dynamic theme throughout the drama and perhaps relate to these flawed characters.

Justin Walker and Stephanie Friedman portray Stanley and Stella Kowalski.  Photo courtesy BCC

Noteworthy was supporting actress Shakirah Demesier, who plays Eunice Hubble, the upstairs neighbor, and owner of the apartment building. Demesier was a delight and her superb comic timing a reprieve from the intense storyline.  Her authentically New Orleans accent engages the audience in each scene-stealing encounter. Eric Lang also gives a solid performance as Mitch. Lang successfully portrays Mitch as a kind and lonely yet unrefined suitor of Blanche, which is an important subplot as the story unfolds.

A Streetcar Named Desire is set in New Orleans circa 1947.  Photo courtesy BCC

It’s easy to see why Tennessee Williams’ writing has been universally acclaimed as this iconic story transcends time, feeling just as relevant today as it was when it debuted over 70 years ago. The director, actors and creative team of Theatre Buford hit a home run as they take on the complicated relationships, conflict, and symbolism of Streetcar, the third production of their inaugural full season at the Sylvia Beard Theatre.

A scene from A Streetcar Named Desire.  Photo courtesy BCC

Treat yourself or enjoy a date night out as you take delight in impressive live theater locally.  Theatre Buford is certainly making its mark on the Greater Atlanta theater scene. The production runs through March 3rd. Tickets are available for purchase online at

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