Kathy Bates' Bookshelf
By Tennessee Williams
Of all of Tennessee Williams's characters, those in Streetcar move me the most. I first read the play in high school while looking for monologues to perform at theater contests. Many years later, I studied with the great director José Quintero, who pointed out that when Stanley enters, he tosses his wife, Stella, a bloody package of meat. Right away that's Williams telling you theirs is a primitive relationship. Blanche, on the other hand, uses illusion to escape the realities of aging and death—"the long parade to the graveyard!" She says, "I don't want realism. I want magic!" My favorite line is in the scene in which Mitch embraces and kisses her. Blanche looks at him and says, "Sometimes—there's God—so quickly!" She believes she will be saved at last.