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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “The Glass Menagerie” opens at Arizona Repertory Theatre

    Courtesy of Ed Flores Tom Wingfield (Paul Thomson, back right) suffers inner turmoil as he remembers the lament of his fragile sister, Laura (Kathleen Cannon), & mother, Amanda (Maedell Dixon), trying to impress Jim (Joey Rudman) with her hospitality, in the tender memory play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, by Tennessee Williams – running Feb 9 – Mar 2 at Arizona Repertory Theatre at The University of Arizona.

    “The Glass Menagerie,” written by legendary American playwright Tennessee Williams, is based on Williams’ own personal experiences.
    The play tells the story of a fractured family through the eyes of the play’s male protagonist, Tom Wingfield, as he looks back on his youth.

    “It’s a memory play,” stage manager Sydney Luttschwager said. Luttschwager has worked as an assistant on prior Arizona Repertory Theatre musicals “The Fantasticks” and “Nine.”

    “It’s very different,” Luttschwager said. “It’s not your typical play where two people fall in love and there’s a happy ending. It’s about a guy who tells his story about how his family falls apart.”
    All shows will take place in Tornabene Theatre on campus. The theater is unique, as it has a round stage, so the audience wraps around it rather than sitting in front of the actors. Although the round theater comes with a few hurdles, it provides an opportunity for the talent to mold the play into something new.

    “The seating arrangement and theater itself helps you to find new things because you have to play by the rules that each of those spaces dictates,” said director Brent Gibbs, a directing veteran of 30 years and a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

    With the stage’s unique structures come logistical challenges for the performance.

    “I had no idea how we were going to do this, because one of the main elements of the play is a fire escape,” Luttschwager said. “A lot happens on the fire escape. Our designer is a genius, and she just made it work.”

    Luttschwager added that anything directed by Gibbs is well worth seeing.

    Gibbs said the audience can expect to experience a touching tale.
    “It’s a very intimate story that we’re telling,” Gibbs said. “By having the audience right there, it helps to put them in touch with what the actors are going through and what the characters are going through.”

    “The Glass Menagerie” is a play that has withstood the test of time. It first opened on Broadway in 1945 and has been recreated countless times since, and it is still playing on Broadway today. Directed by John Tiffany, the critically acclaimed rendition stars well-known actors Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek,” “Margin Call”) and Cherry Jones (“24,” “The Perfect Storm”).

    The fact that it has survived all these years and still remains popular proves its quality, Luttschwager said.
    “It’s something young people should experience,” Luttschwager said. “It’s definitely a classic.”

    The play runs through March 2nd. There will be a preview viewing on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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