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'Glass Menagerie' opens at Tower Theater

October 26, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed stageplay, “The Glass Menagerie,” opens this weekend on the stage of Tower Theater, presented by the Liberty University Department of Theatre Arts.

This dramatic American classic requires a cast of only four and has visited Liberty’s stage before, last performed in 2004.

“The story is very powerful, it is very human. Even though it is highly dramatized there are parts of all the characters that probably every audience member can identify with,” said Neal Brasher, the play’s director and an assistant professor.

Brasher added he enjoys Williams’ colorful writing and interesting characters.

The gloomy tale centers on a Depression-era family, the Wingfields, as recalled by Tom, the narrator and a character in the play.

Each member of the family struggles to accept reality as they clutch on to a fantasy they have built.

Tom, played by junior Tim Ross, loathes his current job and wishes to pursue a life of adventure, free from his family responsibilities.

Amanda, his mother (portrayed by senior Katie Bryant), is overbearing and lost in a glorified version of her past as a true Southern belle. She copes with the present by attempting to create the life she pines for in that of her daughter, Laura.

Sophomore Lindsey Register plays Laura in a breakout performance. Shy and slightly crippled, Laura is as fragile as the glass animals she admires and as out of touch with society as the old records she constantly plays.

A gentleman caller, played by sophomore Jared Calhoun, represents both hope and the sting of reality to the characters. Calhoun is a former participant in Liberty’s Summer Arts Program, which was featured in a Liberty News story this summer.

The plays original set illustrates its message, with secure walls of a home, like the fantasy, shattering above like glass, as dreams so often do under the weight of reality.

“We worked really hard to get this play right, and it was a lot of fun getting there,” Brasher said. “The humanity of the story is really a challenge but it is also one of the most rewarding things about it.”

“The Glass Menagerie” continues Oct. 26-Nov. 3 and will have eight performances. Showtimes and tickets are available on the Tower Theater website or by calling the Liberty Ticket Office at (434) 582-7328.

  • Liberty’s Department of Theatre Arts offers a B.A. in theater arts with concentrations available in production, performance, and education. A minor is also available. Every semester, a number of performances, including dramas, comedies, and musicals, give students an opportunity to showcase their talents and gain valuable career experience.