SMC to perform ‘The Glass Menagerie’
Marta Brown | Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Saint Mary’s College department of communication studies, dance and theatre is sponsoring the performance of the Tennessee Williams play “The Glass Menagerie” Thursday through Sunday in the Little Theatre of the Moreau Center.
Associate professor of theatre Katie Sullivan, who will direct the play, said the story tells of a family trying to survive despite the Great Depression, and focuses each family member’s different reactions to their circumstances. Amanda Wingfield adheres to her Southern ways to procure expectations for her two children after she is abandoned by her husband. Tom, the older son, itches to move out and follow his dreams as a writer, and Laura, the younger daughter creates her own world with her collection of glass menagerie.
Sullivan said she has always loved Williams’ plays.
“[‘The Glass Menagerie’ is] a beautiful play with haunting and lyrical music, and I think it’s timeless,” Sullivan said. “It’s redone on Broadway so often. I’ve loved his [William’s] plays since I was thirteen.”
Sullivan said the events and scenarios in the play are somewhat parallel to Tennessee Williams’ personal life. As Tom narrates the play as an older version of himself, Williams is reflecting on his own perspective of leaving his family to become a writer.
“It’s like all of you guys, you’re here in college to learn and choose what you want to do,” Sullivan said. “You’re ready to go out into the world. This is the maturation time. You learn, you get educated, you make goals, you make plans. And some of our goals change, or don’t happen because we’ve made other goals or life gives an obstacles and we have to work around it. You know, life happens, but this is the time when you’re ready to leave the nest. And we’re finding him itching to leave the nest.”
Sullivan said the title, like many aspects of Williams’ work, is a metaphor.
“Tennessee William writes poetically — he was a poet before a dramatist,” she said. “He writes with lyrical language, using metaphors. And Laura and the unicorn [in the play] are symbolic of each other.
“The unicorn is a beautiful mystic animal — it’s different than everyone else, than the other horses — it has the horn. And she’s different than others.”
Notre Dame senior Stephen Seitz said he plays the role of Jim O’Connor, the gentleman caller of shy Laura.
“I find it very easy to relate to Jim O’Connor,” Seitz said.“He’s an ambitious, happy-go-lucky fellow who is always quick with a joke and a smile. Jim introduces some much-appreciated comedy and romance to an otherwise depressing story,” Seitz said.
Seitz said he has enjoyed his role and being a part of the production.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of such a great cast putting on a great production,” he said.