Driftwood Players

"A Streetcar Named Desire" July 1994

By Tennessee Williams, Directed by Gary Morean

From Left Front: Lynette Shelby-Uhl: (Woman/Nurse) Jane Hansen: (Stella) Margaret Tingwall: (Blanche) Russ Wiitala: (Stanley)
Left Back: Ron Rogers: (Mitch) Rai French: (Steve) Danuté Musteikis-Rankis: (Eunice) Jason Whited: (Pablo) Rick Bates: (Collector/Doctor)

Jane Hansen, Russ Wiitala, Margaret Tingwall

Danuté Musteikis-Rankis, Rai French, Russ Wiitala, Jane Hansen

Margaret Tingwall, Ron Rogers

Rick Bates, Margaret Tingwall, Lynette Shelby-Uhl

Lynette Shelby-Uhl, Danuté Musteikis-Rankis, Margaret Tingwall

Jane Hansen, Margaret Tingwall

Pictures by Alan Stamwitz

A Streetcar Named Desire - Set

From The Daily World Thursday, July 14, 1994

Steamy drama is desirable fare

By Micki Colwell
Daily World correspondent

    Hot steamy nights, emotionally charged characters, words by Tennessee Williams, and we have Driftwood Players production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," resuming Friday and Saturday and continuing through July 30.

    Tickets are available at Our Place in Ocean Shores, Harbor Drug in Hoquiam, City Drug and Captain's Cove in Aberdeen, Valu Drug in Montesano and at the door.

    Gary Morean, veteran director and actor and Ann McCabe, assistant director, have selected and finely tuned a cast of characters who are not only diligent with the larger parts but have spent time with the smallest details in the supporting roles.

    Blanche DuBois, played by Margaret Tingwall, comes to New Orleans to visit her sister, Stella, played by Jane Hansen. Although they have grown up in a genteel way in their youth, Stella, now lives with her husband, Stanley, played by Russ Wiitala, in the French quarter, in a two-room apartment.

    Blanche, on the other hand, continues in her dream world, escaping the reality of the present, while seeking refuge from her troubled past.

    Stanley, crude and loutish, is relentless in his quest to unmask the lies and delusions of the unstable Blanche.

    This is the play that became a successful movie, launching Marlon Brando's movie career. Jessica Tandy also played the original Blanche.

    A problem with selecting a production that was a successful play and movie is that it's hard not to compare the local actors with the professional ones.

    The key to this show's success is that each character is totally believable and the cast works in unison.

    Although the show's climactic rape scene felt short of expectations, perhaps due to opening night jitters, it is an adult story and would not be recommended for children.

    Wiitala, an active member of Raymond's Willapa Players as actor and director, is a fine comic actor who worked hard to make his portrayal of Stanley his own.

    Although he is no Brando, he does portray the delicate balance between his demanding yet loving feelings for his wife with his utter contempt for his sister-in-law, Blanche.

    Hansen, an experienced actress who usually plays strong and dominating women, shows a warm side that we have not seen before, as the submissive wife who loves her husband without reservations. She is an excellent balance between Blanche and Stanley.

    Tingwall (Blanche) is the aging school teacher, who let the plantation she and Stella inherited, slip away, and was ultimately relieved from her education duties when accused of a sexual tryst with a 17-year-old student. Thus, the only place she had left was Stella and Stanley's.

    She tackles the difficult role with her usual high energy and pulls off a very sensitive portrayal of the troubled, overly made up, aging sister.

    Tingwall excels with an extremely heavy line load and a multitude of mood swings.

    Ron Rogers plays the supporting role of Stanley's friend, Mitch, who becomes the shy and attentive suitor for Blanche.

    A man with lots of talent, he provides just the right amount of sensitivity required for the character and is a great contrast to the other males in the play. You will remember him for his role in "Mr. Roberts," and "Witness for the Prosecution."

    Danuté Musteikis-Rankis and Rai French play the volatile upstairs couple, who seem to hover between fits of passion and uncontrollable rage.

    Both actors are fairly new to the area and to Driftwood, but not to the stage. Each has a wealth of experience, and offers moments of comic relief from the unrelenting drama going on downstairs.

    Rick Bates plays dual supporting roles in the production and is excellent as the young paper boy who comes to collect money and runs into a seductive Blanche who for a brief time has other ideas for him.   

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