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STREETCAR PULLS INTO KENT STREET

As the Genesian Theatre Company prepares to welcome audiences to its production of A Streetcar Named Desire, the message is clear: the lights have not yet dimmed on the Kent Street stage.


“We will remain in Kent Street as long as we can, staging high quality, affordable theatre in the heart of the Sydney CBD,” explains Genesian Theatre President, Barry Nielsen. Home to the Genesians since 1954, the former St John’s Church building located at 420 Kent Street has been earmarked for redevelopment since 2018. The company says it has been offered a short-term lease arrangement with the landlord and will continue to stage productions in the CBD venue for as long as feasible.


“We want to offer people as many opportunities as possible to attend a show in this historic theatre while we still can,” says Nielsen.


“While it means we have to be flexible and potentially have to vacate at short notice, we’re determined to continue to deliver the kind of accessible, affordable theatre that the Genesian has become renowned for. And what better play to showcase that commitment than Tennessee Williams’ classic, A Streetcar Named Desire.”


With a cast led by recent NIDA graduates Georgia Britt (Blanche DuBois) and Riley McNamara (Stanley Kowalski) and directed by Tom Massey, the production remains true to the original text while highlighting the trials women still face today – ageism, misogyny and domestic violence.


“We are delighted to have the opportunity to stage this iconic play and though the current conditions mean we have to run a shorter than usual season, we are still thrilled to be able to present this work,” says Nielsen.


“We believe we owe it to our patrons – and the hundreds of performers and volunteers who have tread these boards – to take whatever opportunity remains to continue to perform on the Kent St stage.”


As well as continuing to produce works for its Kent Street stage, the company is preparing for its relocation to a brand new, purpose-built theatre space at the St Joseph’s precinct in Rozelle.


“We are so pleased to have found a great new venue so close by that will be easy for our many loyal patrons to attend,” Nielsen says. “At a time when many arts venues are facing closure, we are delighted to be the driving force behind the creation of a theatre space purpose built for community and independent theatre.”


“2024 will mark 80 years of the Genesians, making us one of the longest running theatre groups in Sydney. Over that time we’ve had numerous household names grace our stage, including Australian theatre and film icons Bryan Brown, Baz Luhrmann, Judi Farr, John Bell, Peter Carroll, Tom Tilley, Nick Enright and Kevin Jackson,” Mr Nielsen said.


“We want to ensure that legacy lives on for many decades to come, as we continue the mission of the Genesian to bring theatre to everyone.”


A Streetcar Named Desire opens on 15th April, 2023 and runs until 07th May. For bookings, visit genesiantheatre.com.au

For more information on the Genesian Theatre company, visit genesiantheatre.com.au

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