The Glass Menagerie
by Tennesse Williams
Directed by Michael Halloran
Weekends, Sept. 29-Oct. 15
Fridays & Saturdays @7:00 pm
Sundays @ 2 pm
A classic of the American stage, Tennessee Williams' hauntingly poetic play The Glass Menagerie tells of a single mother and her two adult children struggling to get by in Depression-era St. Louis. Amanda Wingfield, raised in Southern gentility and abandoned by her husband, now tries desperately to provide for her disabled daughter Laura and adventure-seeking son Tom. In spite of her best efforts, Amanda succeeds more in distancing her children from her, with Laura retreating into her own imaginary world and Tom plotting to escape the "prison" he sees himself in. Heavily influenced by autobiographical details from Williams' own life, the play grapples with questions of family loyalty as well as the fragile illusions we live by, which can so easily be shattered.
List of Characters and other Info
Tennessee Williams’ descriptions of the characters:
AMANDA WINGFIELD (the mother): A little woman of great but confused vitality, clinging frantically to another time and place. Her characterization must be carefully created, not copied from type. She is not paranoiac, but her life is paranoia. There is much to admire in Amanda, and as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. Certainly she has endurance and a kind of heroism, and though her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel at times, there is tenderness in her slight person.
LAURA WINGFIELD (her daughter): Amanda, having failed to establish contact with reality, continues to live vitally in her illusions, but Laura’s situation is even graver. A childhood illness has left her crippled, one leg slightly shorter than the other, and held in a brace. This defect need not be more than suggested on the stage. Stemming from this, Laura’s separation increases till she is like a piece of her own glass collection, too exquisitely fragile to move from the shelf.
TOM WINGFIELD (her son): And the narrator of the play. A poet with a job in a warehouse. His nature is not remorseless, but to escape from a trap he has to act without pity.
JIM O’CONNOR (the gentleman caller): A nice, ordinary, young man.
All interested actors are encouraged to audition. While the characters will be played as indicated in the script (2 female presenting, 2 male presenting), this does not preclude the casting of actors against “type.” Audition for the role(s) you want.
Amanda will be played with a Southern (Mississippi) accent. Laura and Tom need not have accents. Jim speaks with a standard midwestern accent. Accents are not required at auditions.
As far as stage ages go, Amanda should appear old enough to be Laura’s mother. Because their characters were in the same class in high school, Laura and Jim should appear to be the same age, anywhere from early 20s to early 30s. Although Tom is mentioned as being two years younger than Laura, because the play’s events are his memories, the actor playing Tom can range anywhere from 30s to 60s. (The original Tom, Eddie Dowling, was 55 when he played the part.)
Tickets will be on sale this summer!