Streetcar and Orchard

1477 Words6 Pages
Is action that happens offstage as important as that which happens onstage? When action is onstage, it allows the audience to experience the drama with the characters and it provokes strong emotions as the audience witnesses the climax of the play and the reactions of and effects on the characters. However, if action is offstage, the audience do not see for themselves the events of the play and how the characters adjust themselves to the events, but, this does not mean that these actions are ineffective or unimportant. In fact, it is just the opposite. ‘The Cherry Orchard’ by Anton Chekhov and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams are two plays in which the main actions occur offstage, but the impact on the audience created…show more content…
The other actions happen offstage and the audience is not told about them until Later on in the play. This means that the audience only find out Blanche’s real persona when the other characters find out. The scene with the paper boy is onstage and allows the audience to see Blanche in action and watch how great her desire for young men is and how she switches from being a lady to an adulteress. Blanche lost her home: Belle Reve, this establishment was a high class aristocratic house where Blanche and her sister had spent their childhood. Blanche now does not ‘have a dime’ which is what drove her into prostitution so she could have ‘one night’s shelter’ and why she is now at her sister’s home to seek refuge. Blanche was forced to ‘run for protection…from under one leaky roof to another’ where she had many relations with men in a hotel named ‘The Flamingo’. This information about the offstage action is later discovered by Stella’s crude, brutish husband: Stanley and he uses this against her to break her relationship with Mitch and to shatter her chances of marriage and happiness. The climax of ‘The Cherry Orchard’ is the sale of Mme R.’s estate. This action occurs offstage and so, creates a very effective tension building Act. This is Act 3, it creates apprehension because instead of witnessing what happens to the estate and whether or not it is sold directly, the audience is left to wait and wonder how the auction will go. The news
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