New York Post: July 14, 1958
by unknown

 

Because they think A Streetcar Named Desire can say a great deal about Negro problems, two producers are now casting a version of the Tennessee Williams play in which the leading characters are to be Negroes.

"It's difficult to find a play in which Negroes aren't portrayed as comic figures or very minor characters," producer Terry Carter told The Post today.

"That's why Harvey Garrick and I want to put on a play which, although written for whites, will have added meaning when played by Negroes. That play is Streetcar."

 

Hilda Simms as Blanche DuBois

Hilda Simms as Blanche DuBois

 

The play, which will star Hilda Simms, a star of a Negro production of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Lucasta, opens at the Carnegie Hall Playhouse Sept. 17.

"The play has universal things to say," Carter said. "A character like Blanche DuBois is an anachronism who lives half in the past as a part of a decaying society -- and among Negroes his type of person is more common than is thought."

Negro women like Blanche are found mostly in Louisiana, the setting for the Williams play, Carter said.

"There are Creoles there," he said, "and octoroons and quadroons. They're a mixture of Negro, French and Spanish and they've blended into and lost themselves in white society. They live somewhere between the whites and the Negroes".

"In a Negro adaptation of the play, a Creole Blanche would, with her distorted sense of values, look down on a Negro Stanley. We are very hopeful about this play."

Miss Simms said she saw a performance as a Negro Blanche as a "fine role in a marvellous play."