Glass Menagerie in Fairfield University’s THE MIRROR

Theatre Fairfield’s production of The Glass Menagerie had a featured article in Fairfield’s student run newspaper… The Mirror! Check out the article which has tons of info about the upcoming production, as well as an inside look into the process and show from the director, and some of the actors’ point-of-views!

Don’t forget to get your tickets! :)

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Final Major Production In Theatre Fairfield’s 2011-2012 Season Opens Next Week

For now the world is lit by lightning.

These words exemplify the nature of a world so filled with tension that it is the piercing light of lightning rather than the gentle light of candles that illuminates the world of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”

Next Wednesday begins the third and final major production of Theatre Fairfield’s 2011-2012 season, a memory play by Tennessee Williams entitled “The Glass Menagerie,” which will be running April 25-28 at 8:00 p.m. and April 28-29 at 2:00 p.m. in the Wien Black Box Theatre in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.  Williams, who many believe based “The Glass Menagerie” on his own life, is the award-winning playwright of renowned works such as “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

“The Glass Menagerie” follows the story of fallen southern belle Amanda Wingfield, played by Casey Grambo ’12, whose desire to give meaning to the lives of her children, Laura and Tom, played by Nancy Laskowski ’12 and Michael Maio ’13 respectively, results in Tom’s longing for escape and Laura’s seclusion into her own world.  Amanda projects her own aspirations onto Laura, anxious to see her married and provided for, and enlists the help of Tom to find a gentleman caller for his sister.  Amanda’s hopes are fulfilled when Tom invites a co-worker of his, Jim O’Connor, played by Greg Jensen ’12, to dinner; however, Jim unknowingly initiates a sequence of events that ultimately threatens to ruin the Wingfield family.

“It has been such an exciting opportunity to reimagine this classic for a contemporary audience and discover the many ways these characters can resonate with people today,” said director Dr. Martha S. LoMonaco, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts.  “‘The Glass Menagerie’ is a classic family play that is relevant to the entire community.  We all come from families with distinct personalities and can identify with these characters and their struggles.”

As a memory play, nearly all of the events that take place on stage during “The Glass Menagerie” occur in the past, filtered through the memory of the character recounting them, Tom.  As such, Tom performs two roles, functioning as both the narrator of the play and a character in it.

Tom even contemplates the nature of “The Glass Menagerie” as a memory play in his opening monologue, telling the audience, “Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic.”

While the nature of “The Glass Menagerie” as a memory play offers a challenge to audiences since the events of the play are relayed through a man’s subjective and possibly biased memories, this aspect of “The Glass Menagerie” presents a challenge to actors as well, particularly the actor playing Tom.

“Being both the narrator and a character in the play has definitely been a challenge,” said Michael Maio ’13, the actor portraying Tom.  “Tom is a character who undergoes so much change between the two time periods in which the audience sees him—Tom goes from a young man filled with energy and vitality to an older, more experienced, and weary person.  It is my job to make sure both of these aspects of Tom come across and are believable to audiences.”

While most Theatre Fairfield shows are in production for about three months, “The Glass Menagerie” has been in production for about six months, with auditions having been held last November in conjunction with auditions for Theatre Fairfield’s recent production of “Theatre in the Raw.”  Although auditions took place many months before the opening night of the show, the cast and crew began working on “The Glass Menagerie” almost immediately and have been enduring a rigorous rehearsal process that became even more intense at the beginning of March.

“Though I’ve stage managed before, this experience has been so unique, especially because the cast is so small and the rehearsal process has been so long” said stage manager Pamela Perrimon ’12.  “Even though it’s been challenging as well as a longer commitment, this experience has been so rewarding—it is thrilling to see a production from just an idea to a fully developed show.”

In addition to the aforementioned cast, “The Glass Menagerie” features a crew comprised of faculty as well as students.  The production team includes director Dr. Martha S. LoMonaco, scenic and lighting designer Karl Ruling, costume designer Julie Leavitt, musical director and composer Lance Boos M.A. in American Studies ‘11, stage manager Pamela Perrimon ’12, and assistant stage manager Kelan McDonnell ’15.

Tickets are $5 for students, $6 for faculty and seniors, and $12 for the general public.  Tickets can be bought by going to the Quick Center Box Office or calling (203) 254-4010.  Hurry up because tickets are going fast!  For more information on Theatre Fairfield or their 2011-2012 season, visit http://blog.fairfield.edu/theatrefairfield/v.

 

 

By Nicole Laskowski

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