PVA to Present American Classic, The Glass Menagerie

Published: January 26, 2011 | Read Time: 2 minutes

A mother’s unrealistic dreams for her children’s futures threaten to smother her painfully shy daughter and her aspiring writer son in Tennessee Williams’ shattering drama, "The Glass Menagerie." Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance presents the American classic February 3-5 and 10-12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium Theatre.

Widely considered an autobiographical play, "The Glass Menagerie" centers on the fragile Wingfield household, seen through the eyes of its son, Tom. Defined by her financial struggles, lost dreams and unfulfilled desires, Amanda, a faded Southern Belle, clings to her grown children, desperately pushing them to achieve more successful lives than her own. Her daughter Laura lives a painfully shy existence, with only her collection of glass ornaments for companionship. However hope looms, when Tom brings home a gentlemen caller one spring evening.

Tennessee Williams' heartbreaking drama originally premiered in 1944 is based on reworked material from one of Williams' short stories, "Portrait of a Girl in Glass," and his screenplay, “The Gentleman Caller.” This was Williams’ first successful play and is given new life in this production of strained familial relationships, directed at SUU by Dr. Christine Frezza.

Williams achieved critical acclaim for his thought-provoking plays of suppressed desires including "The Rose Tattoo," "The Night of the Iguana," "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." His work is praised for its ability to address harsh realities in a straightforward way. Controversial and memorable, Williams was awarded four Drama Critic Circle Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his lifetime.

Undertaking the drama’s demanding roles, the student cast features Kristen Henley as Laura, Brian James as Tom, Wendy Penrod as Amanda and McKay Tripp as Jim, the gentleman caller.

Frezza, the director, has previously directed "Twelfth Night," "Lysistrata," and "Our Town" for the SUU Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. This production is brought to life onstage by the all student design team, which includes Costume Designer McKenzie Denison, Scenic Designer Nerissa Cannon, Lighting Designer Bryan Sommer, Sound Designer Nick Pinegar, Hair and Make-Up Designer Kim Kerr, and Prop Mistress Amanda McMall. Amy Norton serves as Stage Manager.

A mixture of the poignant and poetic, heart-breaking and humorous -- do not miss the opportunity to experience a genuine American classic work for the stage.

Tickets are $10 General Admission, $8 SUU Faculty and Staff, $5 Youth and free for SUU students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased by calling the ticket office at 435-586-7872 or by ordering order online at www.suu.edu/arts.

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