Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College Theatre begins its 46th season next month with the presentation ofThe Glass Menagerie”, by Tennessee Williams, directed by Grechen Lynne Wingerter.

“The Glass Menagerie” was Williams’s first successful play; he went on to become one of America’s most highly regarded playwrights.  It is a highly autobiographical play that tells the story of Amanda Wingfield, a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura.

Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom is driven nearly to distraction by his mother’s nagging and seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies. Laura also lives in her illusions. She is crippled, and this defect, intensified by her mother’s anxiety to see her married, has driven her more and more into herself.

The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to take dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is a nice ordinary fellow who is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura. In spite of her crude and obvious efforts to entrap the young man, he and Laura manage to get along very nicely, and momentarily Laura is lifted out of herself into a new world. But this crashes when, toward the end, Jim explains that he is already engaged. The world of illusion that Amanda and Laura have striven to create in order to make life bearable collapses about them. Tom, too, at the end of his tether, at last leaves home. 

The play premiered in Chicago in 1944 and went on to open on Broadway in the Playhouse Theatre on March 31, 1945 and played there until June 29, 1946. It then moved to the Royale Theatre from July 1, 1946 until its closing on August 3, 1946. The show was directed by Eddie Dowling and Margo Jones.

The BGSU Firelands Theatre ensemble cast includes BGSU Firelands students as well as local community members. Richard Amezquita, Monroeville, plays Tom Wingfield, while Erinn Wasiniak, Huron, plays Amanda Wingfield.  D’Sha Edge, Sandusky, will play Laura Wingfield, and Branden Fox, Wakeman, will play Jim O’Connor.

Technical direction is by David Gilmore, North Fairfield, and additional production staff includes Paul Maier, Sandusky, as costume designer; Rachel McLaughlin, Huron, as assistant director; Lynze Daugherty, Sandusky, as stage manager; Lacey Miller, Sandusky, and Caleb Richardson, Huron, as assistant stage managers.

Performances are scheduled for November 7, 8, 9, at 7:30 p.m. and November 9 and 10 at 2:00 p.m. in BGSU Firelands’ McBride Auditorium.  

The box office (419-433-5560, ext. 2-0747 or 419-372-0747) opens at 1 p.m. on November 4, and is open from 1-5 p.m. daily thereafter.  Regular admissions are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and BGSU Firelands faculty/staff, $5 for children under 17, and $4 for BGSU Firelands students.  Groups of 15 or more are $8 per person.

The Glass Menagerie is suitable for ages 12 and up.

For more information contact Wingerter at 419-372-0868.

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