Compare the Theatrical Techniques and Staging in Act One of Oleanna and Street Car Named Desire

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Compare the theatrical techniques and staging in act one of Oleanna and Street Car Named Desire

The two plays Street car named desire and Oleanna are very different plays in their use of theatrical devices. Tennesse Williams’ play Street Car Named Desire gives us a long description of the New Orleans world its based in. Describing the flats with the name “elysan fields” relating the to heaven despite the appearance of the street that seems “falling apart at the fabric of the seems”, the colour of the sky “tender blue”, even the smell of “bananas and coffee” making the set described seem more exotic with the imagery of plantations. Whilst in David Mamet’s play Oleanna we are simply told how Carol is sitting opposite John who is sitting at his desk on the phone. The audience isnt given a description of the desk other than that there is a desk, a phone and two characters.

Another theatrical technique used extensively in Street Car Named Desire is costume. Blanche’s vast costume range and seemingly expensive at some what out of place in the New Orleans’ world helps to demonstrate to the audience how she is different to everyone else. Especially in comparisson to Stanley who is simply wearing work clothes or solid colour shirts, which in the play symbolise his strength and simplicity. However there is no comstume description at all which leaves us to imagine the two characters costumes. We see john in perhaps a suit as a sterotypical professor, whilst Carol’s costume is much harder to imagine due to the lack of information we are given about her.

The stage directions in Oleanna are also much more simplistic than those of Street Car Named Desire. They are used to show either the akwardness between the two characters symbolised by the pauses that are used throughout the play during the characters lines or in the middle of their speeches. In Street Car Named Desire they are used to show the body language between characters, it sets the tone of...
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