New York director brings ‘The Glass Menagerie’ to Theatreworks stage
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 04:09
Take a seat. As the lights dim and the curtain rises, prepare to journey into the lives, memories and struggles of one of theater’s most intimate families – the Wingfield family.
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 13, Theatreworks will be showing Tennessee William’s classic play “The Glass Menagerie.”
Director Anna Brenner, who hails from New York City, has directed multiple plays, including “Three Sisters” and “The Birds.” In an interview with Theatreworks, Brenner explained her interest in directing “The Glass Menagerie.”
“It’s a really special, rare play, one that I knew would be very meaningful to work on,” she said. “It's almost perfectly constructed and that sets a high bar for me, cast and crew, to bring it to life – and I love that challenge.”
“The Glass Menagerie”is the story of Tom Wingfield, his sister, Amanda, and their mother, Laura. The play explores Tom’s memories of his mother and sister while all of the characters struggle with their own views and delusions of their lives.
Brenner explained the human element of the characters, including their vulnerability and flaws. “I think so many of us can relate to how the characters' memories and obsessions make it difficult for them to live presently in reality and communicate with those they love,” she said.
“The Glass Menagerie” has been subject to numerous interpretations since it was written in the 1940s, but Brenner plans to make the play her own.
“I'm trying to rejuvenate it, not make it this dusty classic, but something vital, where the audience can have an intimate, powerful experience,” she said in an interview with The Scribe. “I think it will feel both classic and contemporary.”
Brenner hopes that students who see the play leave with a better understanding of their own lives after seeing the struggles within the Wingfield family.
She commented to Theatreworks, “The present reality is such a struggle they [the characters] can only thrive inside their delusions. We all can get stuck there, and this play has the potential to wake us up.”
With a cast of only four characters, audiences can expect an intimate and powerful experience at this production.
“I think students will relate to the story and characters, and their relationships to their family and their need for independence,” Brenner told The Scribe. “It's a roller coaster ride, and I think any student who is interested in human stories or in art will find it very exciting.”