At first blush Unlocking Desire seems to imagine Tennessee Williams’ tragic heroine Blanche DuBois after A Streetcar Named Desire. The setting is an institution she could have been taken to, and the disparate inmates Blanche meets there orbit around her evoking shadow characters in Williams’ play and people from his life, fleshing out the circumstances that began her downward spiral and that are still in play today. Secrets are unlocked, questions answered. But all is not as it seems and Neri’s play is ultimately a wholly original work, a poetic and intelligent play that will surprise and entertain as it provokes further thought. Neri decided to push ahead and produce the play as 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of playwright Tennessee Williams birth and Unlocking Desire is in part a fascinating homage to him.
John Jakary is well known for his innovative, award-winning direction of numerous plays at Detroit’s former Zeitgeist Gallery and Performance Venue. Barbara Neri, a published playwright and interdisciplinary artist, has been creating and producing work professionally in the theater since 1982. Neri conducted research for Unlocking Desire on the streets of New Orleans and in The Historic New Orleans Collection. Barbara and Ralph Neri's photography and video along with HNOC archival images edited by Alivia Zivich will be part of this visually striking Detroit production. Elisa Limberg a scenic designer from Berlin, Germany and a resident artist at Detroit’s 555 Gallery has been working with playwright Barbara Neri on the set design that will transform the Marlene Boll Theater. Details, Map, Reservations: http://www.barbaraneri.com/williamswing.html