A Noise Within Presents Tennessee Williams' Great American Play, The Glass Menagerie

The sixth production of A Noise Within’s 2018-2019 Season: LET ME IN Presented by the S. Mark Taper Foundation

Published : Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 5:10 PM

(L to R) Deborah Strang as Amanda Wingfield, Rafael Goldstein as Tom Wingfield, and Erika Soto as Laura Wingfield. Photo by Daniel Reichert

A Noise Within (ANW) presents the play that made Tennessee Williams a household name, The Glass Menagerie. ANW Producing Artistic Director Geoff Elliott will direct the great American play that made its debut in Chicago in 1944 and a year later earned Williams the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award when it moved to Broadway.

The Glass Menagerie performs from Feb. 24 through April 26.

In The Glass Menagerie, an innocuous visit from a potential suitor unsettles the sheltered Wingfield family. Matriarch Amanda fiercely protects her adult children from the harshness of others, but doesn’t realize that her own eccentricities are the biggest threat to their psychological survival. Brimming with poetic language and indelible characters, this play about the enduring but limiting nature of love and family is an autobiographical account of Williams’ life growing up in St. Louis, Mo.

“The Glass Menagerie’s poetic nature, its humor, and its heartbreak make it one of my favorite plays, and certainly my favorite Tennessee Williams play,” said Geoff Elliott. “The autobiographical nature of the story and its alignment to Williams’ own life are fascinating to me. I have for several years been passionate about re-discovering the play more from a director’s perspective than from the viewpoint of an actor in the cast as I played Tom Wingfield in our previous production.”

The Glass Menagerie was first produced by A Noise Within during its 1997-98 season with Julia Rodriguez-Elliott directing, Geoff Elliott narrating as Tom Wingfield, and Deborah Strang as the authoritative and stubborn matriarch Amanda Wingfield.

Four of ANW’s Resident Artists have been selected as part of the intimate cast of the 2019 production with Deborah Strang returning as Amanda Wingfield, Rafael Goldstein as Tom Wingfield, who is also the narrator of the play from whose memory the story is recalled, Erika Soto as Laura Wingfield, and Kasey Mahaffy as the gentleman caller, Jim O’Connor.

Geoff Elliott said, “As importantly, I want to share Deborah’s Amanda with audiences. She was wonderful 20 years ago, but probably too young. She is now the perfect age and her sensibilities as an artist and the life experience she has gained will combine to give our audiences a very special performance in this key role. Also, the other three actors in the production are three of my favorite performers in the world, so thus far it has been a joyful experience.”

Elliott continued, “I believe this production will have a sharper focus on the aftermath of such a difficult family dynamic. I am interested in where the family members end up and why. I believe a possible answer to that mystery will be more present in this production.”

Even though the times have drastically changed since the late 1930s setting of The Glass Menagerie, Elliott still believes there is a lot to take away about human relationships from the classic Williams play.

“I believe audiences will experience a deep sense of empathy for the courage, humor, and resolve that the Wingfields demonstrate in their attempt to support one another,” noted Elliott. “Their foibles and missteps are also so very human that I believe every member of the audience will see themselves in aspects of these complicated and conflicted people. It is a play that will stay with you long after you have exited the theatre.”

This powerful play connects deeply with the theme of ANW’s 2018-19 repertory season, “Let Me In,” which highlights the stories of characters who are considered outcasts.

“This is a family clinging to the edges of society. They are true outsiders, struggling to survive and thrive in a world that seems to have forgotten them, a world that seems to play by different rules. Societal pressures are so great that even a deep bond of love is not enough to keep the Wingfields from flying apart. As is often the case, there is no societal safety net to help snatch them from the brink of disaster,” explained Elliott.

Tickets for The Glass Menagerie start at $25 and are available at anoisewithin.org, by phone at (626) 356-3121, and at the box office located at 3352 East Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena.

The Glass Menagerie is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Performances:
Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. (Preview)
Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. (Preview and Symposium)
Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (Preview and Pay What You Can)
Friday, March 1 at 8 p.m. (Preview)
Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m. (Opening)
Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. (Post-Show Conversation)
Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. (Sunday Rush)
Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m. (Post-Show Conversation)
Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 14 at 7 p.m. (Sunday Rush)
Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. (Post-Show Conversation)

Symposium and Post-Show Conversations
This run of The Glass Menagerie includes a symposium with theatre scholar and Pepperdine University Divisional Dean of Fine Arts, Dr. Bradley Griffin, at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2019 and post-show conversations on March 10, April 5, and April 26, 2019.

ANW’s 2018-2019 Season – Let Me In
“All of our 2018-19 offerings feature characters who are outliers – people who have blazed their own trail but nevertheless struggle for acknowledgement and acceptance,” said Geoff Elliott. “Let Me In isn’t about a physical space, it’s about the deeply human passion to be understood for who we are.”

Tennessee Williams’ haunting memory play, The Glass Menagerie (directed by Geoff Elliott; Feb. 24 to April 26), will run in rotating repertory with William Shakespeare’s story of love and betrayal, Othello (directed by Jessica Kubzansky; Feb. 10 – April 28, 2019), and Mary Zimmerman’s retelling of the classic Greek myth of The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts in Argonautika (directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott; March 20 – May 5, 2019). Following the spring 2019 repertory season, the popular and acclaimed ANW production of Noises Off (directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott; May 21 – June 9, 2019) returns. KCET is a media sponsor for A Noise Within’s 2018-19 Season. A Noise Within’s repertory theatre season is presented by the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, “Whether they’re in self-exile (The Glass Menagerie), or shunned (Othello), or led astray by hedonistic desires (A Picture of Dorian Gray), or thrust there by the fickle cruelty of fate (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) or the gods (Argonautika), all of these characters on the margins of society are fascinating and deeply resonant with anyone who has ever felt left out.”

About A Noise Within

A Noise Within has been called “an oasis for those who love classic stories” by the Los Angeles Times, and is a leading regional producer based in Pasadena, Calif. ANW’s award-winning resident company practices a rotating repertory model at their state-of-the-art, 283-seat performance space. This venue, established in 2011, has allowed ANW to expand its audience, surpassing its previous box office, subscription, and attendance records year after year.

In addition to producing world-class performances of classical theatre, the organization runs robust education programs committed to inspiring diverse audiences of all ages. Helmed by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who hold MFAs from San Francisco’s renowned American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), A Noise Within truly delivers Classic Theatre, Modern Magic. http://www.anoisewithin.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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