Award-Winning Actress Visits Clarksdale

Lia Williams to portray Streetcar’s Blanche DuBois in Dublin, Ireland

CLARKSDALE – English stage, movie, and television actress Lia Williams, a Tony Award nominee, spent the weekend here researching her upcoming role as Blanche DuBois in the Tennessee Williams drama – A Streetcar Named Desire.

Earning a Tony nomination for her role in the Broadway play Skylight, the London actress, says rehearsals for the Dublin, Ireland production of Streetcar begin in two weeks.

The tall willowy blond and her screen writer husband, Guy, met many local residents, stayed at the Clark House, attended Sunday church services at St. George’s Episcopal Church and Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Lyon, toured the Cutrer Mansion, and dined at Kathryn’s on Moon Lake and the Lady of the Levee in Clarksdale.

Tennessee Williams, who spent his childhood in Clarksdale, transformed many real residents and locations into settings and characters of his legendary plays.

Although the primary setting of Streetcar is New Orleans, a pivotal memory scene takes place in the Moon Lake Casino, patterned on Uncle Henry’s Place on Moon Lake.

Scholars who lecture at Coahoma Community College’s annual Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival also generally regard Clarksdale’s Cutrer Mansion as “Belle Reve,” the lost ancestral home of Blanche DuBois in Streetcar.

Lia Williams has also appeared in the Tennessee Williams play, Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a period drama set in Clarksdale.

Scheduled Oct. 4-5, 2013, the 21st Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival will feature the drama/movie, “Baby Doll.”

English actress Lia Williams (right), her husband, Guy, and Jen Waller, director of the Coahoma County Higher Education director, visit outside the Cutrer Mansion, a setting transformed into plays by playwright Tennessee Williams.

Researching her role as Blanche DuBois in the Tennessee Williams drama, A Streetcar Named Desire, English actress Lia Williams, poses next to a portrait of Clarksdale’s historical ‘Blanche, Clark Cutrer – the daughter of John Clark and the wife of John Wesley Cutrer.

Lia Williams photographing sunset at Moon Lake