Tennesee Williams' Use Of Stage Effects And How They Change A Streetcar Named Desire.
Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire is mastery of the use of lighting, setting, and sound to add to emotion and meaning to a play. Throughout the play, he uses different appearances to convey characters and enhance the importance of actions and dialogue. Williams constantly changes what the audience hears and sees to control their response to the action taking place in the play. By using different sounds, lighting, and settings, Williams is able to add to the emotional impact of the play.
Music and sound effects often make up as much of the emotion in the play as the characters' actions and words. Towards the end of the play, the "Varsouviana" begins to play more often. As the reader knows, that was the song playing at the time that Blanche's husband shot himself. By it playing in her mind more often, it shows that the state of agony in which she is living is increasing. Other sounds begin to increase in frequency as well as volume. When Stanley "clears the table" it shows his anger at the moment as well as the anger built up towards Blanche throughout the play. Stanley's built up rage could have just as easily been expressed with shouting alone, but the addition of dishes smashing against the wall add to atmosphere of anger. Williams utilizes the fact that blues piano is very flexible and, therefore, used it in a variety of situations. In the beginning of the play, it expresses the "the spirit of the life" in New Orleans while later on, it just as easily coincides with difficult times. It is clear to see that the sounds and music of the play add to the meaning of scenes and dialogue. .
Williams makes extensive use of lighting to show differences in characters and mood. To hide her age, Blanche is never cast in a bright light. It also shows that she is soft and fragile. The only time that Blanche goes out with Mitch is well after dark so that her features appear softer and younger.