Tom Wingfield (Noah Kaplan) and Amanda Wingfield (Kate Lewis) 1 Theatre Doubles Down on Tennessee Williams with The Glass MenagerieImage of

Theatre Doubles Down on Tennessee Williams with The Glass Menagerie

10.09.14_GlassMenagerieBringing high quality, affordable live theatre to the Front Range, the theatre program at Colorado State University presents Tennessee Williams’ timeless classic The Glass Menagerie, running Oct. 9 through Oct. 26, Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

Tickets are $8 for CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Please note that the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office hours have changed. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the UCA lobby 90 minutes prior to any UCA performance and through intermission or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. Information about upcoming performances can be found at (970) 491-ARTS (2787). Advance or online purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Free Ticket Offers: CSU students get in free on Ticket Thursdays: Oct. 9, 16, and 23. Sponsored by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, members of the public get in free on Ticket Sundays: Oct. 12, 19, and 26. Free ticket offer space is limited and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis online or at the Ticket Office.

Tom Wingfield (Noah Kaplan) and Amanda Wingfield (Kate Lewis) 2The Glass Menagerie, directed by new CSU faculty Garrett Ayers, is the Pulitzer Prize winning play that catapulted playwright Tennessee Williams to international fame. Drawn from Williams’ life, this play is a dream-like exploration of the universal themes of the elusiveness of truth, the necessity of forgiveness, and the power of memory. A bold, new interpretation of an American classic, this production is not to be missed.

Often referred to as a “memory play”, a term coined by Williams himself to describe his characters’ loose recollection of the past, the story of The Glass Menagerie opens with the narration of Tom Wingfield, played by Noah Kaplan, whose memories are ultimately based on Williams’ own thoughts and experiences.

Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support his family but is frustrated by his job and aspires to be a poet. He is a complicated man. He loves literature and writes poetry, but his relationship with and treatment of his family contradicts his aspirations of being something greater than himself and his circumstances.

Tom is the story’s protagonist, and his opening narration introduces us to his mother, Amanda Wingfield, and his sister Laura.

Amanda Wingfield, played by Kate Lewis, is a faded southern belle (a quintessential character type in Williams’ plays) whose husband abandoned the family years ago. Amanda longs for her youth and wishes for her family the same comforts of her younger days. Both her love and aggravation toward her family echo the duality shared by Tom.

Laura Wingfield, played by Courtney Steinwinder, is an introverted, fragile being (symbolized by her glass figurine collection) and exudes compassion in a household marked by selfishness. Left with a limp due to a childhood illness, Laura is physically and mentally crippled with an inferiority complex that isolates her from the rest of the world.

At the behest of his mother, Tom searches for a potential suitor (referred to as a “gentlemen caller”) for Laura, and invites an acquaintance from work, Jim O’Connor, played by Ben Patten, to dinner. Laura recognizes Jim as the boy she had a crush on in high school, and is so overcome with shyness that she is unable to dine with the family. In the lead up to one of the most memorable scenes in Williams’ work, Jim and Laura finally converse and share a dance by candlelight whose flickering flame foreshadows the brief burning relationship between the two, and Tom’s ultimate departure from his family.

“I’ve always loved this piece,” said Walt Jones, co-director of theatre and dance at CSU. “Williams creates these incredible story arcs through the intense interactions of people and what they do in those situations that just draw you in to the emotion of the story.”

There will be a Closing Night Artist Talk-Back with the director, cast, and creative team on Sunday, Oct. 26 immediately following the performance.

About Garrett Ayers:

Garrett Ayers has worked for over a decade as a professional actor and director with some of the world’s foremost theatre companies. From 2001-2004 he worked at The Wooster Group in New York City and also trained and was a selection participant in the 2002 workteam selection at The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy. In 2004, he founded Harlem Theater Project in NYC and over the next two years developed a Harlem-based community outreach program, curated a gallery of multi-cultural Harlem-based visual artists, along with directing four productions for the company. Read more.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.