By Maureen Lee Lenker
December 02, 2020 at 10:30 AM EST
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Credit: Vera Anderson/WireImage

Audra McDonald is about to rely on the kindness of strangers.

The legendary Tony-winning actress is bringing her voice to Tennessee Williams' fading Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, in A Streetcar Named Desire. McDonald leads the first play in a series of four December releases that will kick off the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival summer season produced on Audible.

Directed by 2020 Tony Award nominee Robert O'Hara, this production of Williams' masterpiece stars McDonald alongside Carla Gugino as her sister, Stella, and Ariel Shafir as the brutish Stanley. The Audible production will premiere on Dec. 3 at 3 a.m. ET/12 midnight PT.

When a haunted Blanche comes to New Orleans seeking refuge with Stella and her husband, she must wrestle with her simultaneous attraction and repulsion for Stanley, her sister's lust, and her own unraveling mind. In this exclusive clip, McDonald's Blanche reunites with Gugino's Stella for the first time, interrogating her sister about the shabby conditions she's living in with Stanley.

Streetcar is the first in a season-long collaboration between the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater, an arm of the leading creator of audio storytelling. Reimagined in a different format, the season provides continued work for artists involved in the traditional Festival season, broadening their work to reach an audience of global Audible listeners.

This new collaboration marks the first time a full theatrical season of work will be produced on Audible.

The other three shows being released this December are: Photograph 51, a drama about chemist Rosalind Franklin starring Anna Chlumsky, David Corenswet, and Aasif Mandvi; the world premiere of Animals, a comedy about romantic entanglement and identity featuring Madeline Brewer, Jason Butler Harner, William Jackson Harper, and Aja Naomi King; and the world premiere of Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club, which tells the tale of an international group of transgender women who band together at a hotel in Thailand to confront the challenges and joys of gender confirmation surgery.

Three more titles — Dominique Morisseau's Paradise Blue, the world premiere of new musical Row, and the world premiere play Wish You Were Here — are still to come in 2021.

Listen to the clip above for more, and visit the Williamstown Theatre Festival website and Audible for further details.

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