Constance “Stanley” Kowalski - a “Rosie the Riveter” type
Lance Du Bois - a skinny heir to a fallen Southern aristocracy
Stella Kowalski - Constance’s roommate, co-worker and lover
Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell - the work supervisor to the women
The play takes place in WWII-era San Francisco.
The women work in the shipyards, Mitch is their boss.
Lance is Stella’s brother, come to stay after his release from a mental hospital where he has been subjected to electroshock therapy to try to cure him of the “disease of homosexuality.”
Mitch is gay, but doesn’t realize it yet. He is attracted to Lance sexually, but repelled by his urges. Mitch wants to sleep with Lance, makes overtures not knowing that that is what he wants, and finally rejects both Lance and himself. And then wants to do him anyway.
Lance is not a weakling. He is well educated, has a strong ego, and a sense of himself. But he is emotionally fragile, and his sexual orientation makes him an outcast. He tries to go “straight”, but finds that that is impossible for him to do.
Stella has just discovered her true sexuality as a lesbian, and is both thrilled and terrified by this knowledge.
Stanley just wants to dominate everybody, and sees Lance as a challenge, a threat, and finally, a conquest.
In the final confrontation between Stanley and Lance, Stanley uses a dildo to torment and arouse him.
Lance has a nervous breakdown, Stanley and Stella cement their brutal relationship. Mitch is suicidal.
And they all live happily ever after.