A master of letters and the human spirit, American playwright Tennessee Williams created characters who clearly and often painfully reveal the inner workings of the human psyche through their words and actions on stage.
Williams’ stories also speak about what happens inside each of our selves, often revealing new insights to our own, individual character. They also may provide guideposts to our individual destiny — for better or worse.
See what we mean the Performance Network Theatre presents “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. The classic drama opens Oct. 5, followed by an opening champagne reception. Preview performances are Sept. 27 through Oct. 4.
In the story, faded Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield will stop at nothing to find a husband for her painfully shy daughter, Laura, still living at home with her brother, Tom, a would-be writer working in a shoe factory. When Amanda enlists Tom’s help in bringing home a “gentleman caller” from the factory, the family’s dreams hang in the balance as they struggle to escape the hopelessness of their world. Set in 1937 St. Louis, this wistfully poetic memory play is regarded by many as Williams’ most personal story, and his greatest masterpiece. The Performance Network production stars Carla Milarch as Amanda.
The glass menagerie of the story refers to Laura’s collection of glass animal miniatures. Her favorite piece, a beautiful unicorn, accidentally is transformed into a pony — just one of Williams’ symbols for the human condition.
From Performance Network:
Ann Arbor, MI – Sixty-eight years after its premiere, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams has withstood the tides of change and is sweeping Performance Network Theatre into its 2012-2013 Great American Theatre Season with preview performances September 27 – October 4 and an opening champagne reception on October 5 followed by performances through October 28.
Performance Network’s Associate Artistic Director, Carla Milarch, returns to the stage after her five-year hiatus from acting. “Returning to the Artistic side of PNT and getting back on stage has been a five-year dream of mine, and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s helped make that happen. Five years is a long-time for an actress to be off the boards so doing Amanda has come with its fair share of questions for me, but luckily our director, Tim Rhoze and the whole cast have made it just like riding a bike. I’m very excited to be returning with a Tennessee Williams role as well, after tackling Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire ten years ago (can it have been that long?) I’m having an absolute blast,” said Milarch.
Milarch is a part of the noteworthy ensemble of The Glass Menagerie along with Tim Rhoze and Kevin Young. Rhoze, the director, is an Associate Artist of Performance Network Theatre and is thrilled to dedicate his talents to his fifth year with the theatre. Rhoze, with an impressive film background (Grey’s Anatomy, In Good Company, Friends, Becker, 24, The Dilemma, and Fraiser), has also directed PNT favorites, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Piano Lesson, Fences and K2. Guided under Rhoze’s direction the technical artists are culminating a visually abstract production of the version of The Glass Menagerie that Williams preferred (there are several different versions of the script).
Kevin Young was a significant asset to Performance Network’s record breaking 2011-2012 season. Young starred as the protégé of Mark Rothko in Red and as Larry in Lanford Wilson’s Burn This. “He’s a wonderful collaborator. We share a kindred artist spirit,” said Rhoze. Young plays the role of Tom in The Glass Menagerie, who is often referenced as the character Williams uses as a personal reflection of himself.
Set in 1937 St. Louis, this wistfully poetic memory play is regarded by many as Williams’ most personal story, and his greatest masterpiece. Faded Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield will stop at nothing to find a husband for her painfully shy daughter, Laura, still living at home with her brother, Tom, a would-be writer working in a shoe factory. When Amanda enlists Tom’s help in bringing home a “gentleman caller” from the factory, the family’s dreams hang in the balance as they struggle to escape the hopelessness of their world.
Performance Network’s Great American Theatre Season poignantly references a range of productions rooted in American culture and storytelling. The Glass Menagerie is often referred to as Williams’ greatest masterpiece and is a staple in American literature. Performance Network’s production of this classic will engage, inspire, and challenges audiences who choose to join the talented ensemble.
On October 26, Performance Network Theatre will host a benefit performance of The Glasss Menagerie. Tickets are $50 and extra revenue will be dedicated to The Children’s Theatre Network which kicks off its Saturday Series the very next day with Wolverine Will – a show about Michigan history, written by Carla Milarch!
The Performance Network is located at 120 East Huron, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104. For tickets and more information, call (734) 663-0681 or click here.
Tickets are $22 – $41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups. There is a pay-what-you-can performance on August 2 (with a suggested donation of $15).
Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor’s only resident, professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and the Children’s Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.