Janesville Parker students like gritty 'Streetcar'
JANESVILLE—Sam Gulotta was justifiably thrilled when he found out Parker High School was planning a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
“It feels really good to be doing something more serious and dramatic,” said Gulotta, a senior at Parker. “I have been involved in plays since sophomore year, and I'm excited to portray more sad and dramatic emotions. It's definitely a good feeling.”
Teacher Andrew Holmes said the play was chosen to give students a wide range of acting experiences.
“It's a good opportunity for the kids to be able to do a serious play,” Holmes said. “Tennessee Williams is a great American playwright.”
“Streetcar,” which opens Thursday, April 10, follows schoolteacher Blanche DuBois as she seeks refuge from her problems in the cramped apartment of her sister, Stella Kowalski, and volatile brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.
“The kids love doing it,” Holmes said. “I struggled at first with whether they were too young to tackle such serious subjects, but it's good to understand these issues as adults.”
The play addresses complex topics such as mental health, domestic abuse and alcoholism.
“I think the audience will embrace it,” Holmes said.
To further highlight the issue of domestic abuse, Parker Playhouse will donate 15 percent of ticket sales to the YWCA Rock County.
“We're really trying to use this as education for the community and to raise awareness,” Holmes said.
Taylabai Anderson, who plays Blanche, said her character is a misunderstood person who has a lot of issues.
“I do feel it's a challenge from plays we've done before,” Anderson said. “I think it'll have a real impact on people. There are a lot of messages and symbolism. I see how important it is to portray correctly.”
Sophomore Kasara Rupp, who plays Blanche's sister, Stella, said people should see the play because it can shed light on what an abusive relationship looks like.
“It will help people to see things they might not see in their own lives,” Rupp said. “I'm really looking forward to it. It's got such a strong message.”