The Glass Menagerie

Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Susannah Martin

Photos by Jay Yamada

Presented by Town Hall Theatre Company
February 17 – March 19, 2011

Press
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS “What Martin has done with the play is cast it in a slightly surreal world, avoiding playing the story as a late Depression-era slice of life, or anything else that attempts to be completely realistic… And that is what unlocks a fresh look at the old classic, not only giving audiences a new look at the play, but making its meaning considerably more pointed and clear.” – Pat Craig

CONTRA COSTA TIMES “There are no easy answers in Susannah Martin’s enthralling version of Tennessee Williams’ “Glass Menagerie”….Martin takes the playwright’s description of the drama as a memory play to heart, creating a dimly lit, evocative world where Tom’s memories live in their own haunting reality. Through Martin’s superb direction and the interpretations of four skilled actors, this classic play leaves many unanswered questions, allowing the audience to decide for themselves why Tom leaves, whether the poignant scene between his sister Laura and the Gentleman Caller actually happened as he recalls, and how Laura and her mother Amanda fare after his departure.” – Sally Hogarty

ROSSMOOR NEWS “Town Hall’s ‘The Glass Menagerie’ is an emotionally packed production, due in large part to the outstanding actors and Susannah Martin’s directing skills.” – Charlie Jarrett

Director’s Note
I read The Glass Menagerie when I was 11 years old. It was the first play I picked up on my own and simply read for the pleasure of reading a play. I fell in love instantly with the characters, the story, and the beautiful, magical world that Williams created. I identified with every single character even though they lived in a time much removed from my own. I related to Tom’s poetic words, Amanda’s heartfelt recollections of her past, and Laura’s fantasy life created amongst fragile glass. I was also struck, even then, with the theatricality of the play and the way that Tennessee Williams layered images to create a vital and indelible world of memory. It’s a world that captures how both palpable and yet fleeting memory is — and how memory is inexorably linked to longing and loss. Williams makes it clear that memory is simultaneously in the past and hauntingly bound to the present.

As the designers, actors, and I prepared to start rehearsal, we worked to bring that energy and relevance — that immediacy that makes the play feel both like something lost along the way and yet still viscerally alive — to the production. We asked ourselves: what makes a memory stick? What are the details in an event that we remember? What becomes a blur? What do we hold onto? What do we grasp for and, inevitably, lose? Tom, the character so autobiographically close to Tennessee Williams, is the architect of memory in this play. The play chronicles a crucial period in his life and a life-changing decision that he must make. As he looks back and remembers this time, what does he alter? What does he manipulate? What does he forget? What becomes lost to him?

Cast
Amanda Wingfield / Heidi Abbott
Tom Wingfield / Aleph Ayin
Laura Wingfield / El Beh
Jim O’Connor / Michael Perez

Crew
Artistic Director / Clive Worsley
Assistant Stage Manager / Abra Kent
Costume Design / Rebecca Redmond
Lighting Design / Stephen Jones
Production Manager / Leah McKibbin
Properties + Set Dressing / Mia Baxter and Seren Helday
Scenic Design / Steven Decker
Scenic Painter / Sarah Spero
Sound Board Operator / Nico Brenni
Sound Design / Theodore J. H. Hulsker
Stage Manager / Jennifer Stukey
Technical Director / Chris Hayes