The 1944 play “The Glass Menagerie,” originally written by Tennessee Williams, is being performed at the Cabaret Theatre. The idea to perform this play came from its director Bill Kennedy, professor and director of university theatre communication.
“The Glass Menagerie” is set in 1937 St. Louis and is centered around the Wingfield family, mother Amanda and children Tom and Laura, as well as Jim O’Connor.
The cast includes juniors Katie Haught, Lauren Payne and Nate Flores, and senior Nate Laguardia.
Both Haught and Payne were approached by Kennedy, their advisor, to act in this play as their capstone projects, and have been prepping for this performance since before break.
“Last spring [Kennedy] informed us that his selection for … the 2018 February show would be ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ and he asked us to play the roles of Laura and Amanda for our capstones,” Payne said.
Each actor has had previous experience in acting, some starting as early as eighth grade, and have been in multiple plays at Capital.
Tom Wingfield, played by Laguardia, is the narrator of the play and starts each act by addressing the audience, explaining the scene to follow. Tom, a factory worker, has big dreams of becoming a writer and leaving his job and town.
“This is the biggest acting experience that I’ve been a part of,” Laguardia said. “I actually didn’t get the script before winter break, I got it after … so it’s been playing catch up ever since.”
Laura, played by Payne, is a shy and crippled woman who copes with the stress of these impediments by getting lost in her glass collection.
“This is my favorite play, and I’ve always wanted to play Laura, so this is kind of a dream come true,” Payne said.
Amanda, played by Haught, is the mother who is a wistful and happy woman distracted by her past life living lavishly in the South.
Haught said she is used to maintaining an accent while acting, but struggles making sure people understand what she’s saying. “She says a lot of words all at once, and I know I struggle with slurring everything together … the southern accent is almost my inner dialogue right now.”
Jim O’Connor, played by Flores, is a coworker of Tom’s and was once a love interest for Laura. He comes back into Laura’s life, trying to give her the confidence she needs.
Each character has their own struggles internally and with each other, and each cope with their problems in a different way.
Showings are at 8 p.m. Feb. 15-17 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Cabaret Theatre in the lower level of the Student Union.
Cost of admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free with a Capital ID. Tickets can be reserved by calling 614-236-7174 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a talent-filled cast, superior directing and a strong backstage crew, “The Glass Menagerie” is sure to entertain viewers. The story will leave you hoping for a better life for each character while thinking about the struggles within your own life.
“I’m really excited. I’ve done a lot of anticipating; I’ve basically been anticipating this for a year,” Payne said. “I want to be able to show people my passion, and I want to be able to show people all the hard work I and everyone else in the cast has been doing. I want to get it in front of an audience.”