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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Staging to add dimension to The Glass Menagerie set

Tom, played by Matt Palmer, interacts with his mother, Amanda, played by Erika Kae, in the SE Campus production of The Glass Menagerie, a play written by Tennessee Williams.  Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian
Tom, played by Matt Palmer, interacts with his mother, Amanda, played by Erika Kae, in the SE Campus production of The Glass Menagerie, a play written by Tennessee Williams. Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian

By Mark Bauer/SE news editor

Tom, played by Matt Palmer, interacts with his mother, Amanda, played by Erika Kae, in the SE Campus production of The Glass Menagerie, a play written by Tennessee Williams.  Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian
Tom, played by Matt Palmer, interacts with his mother, Amanda, played by Erika Kae, in the SE Campus production of The Glass Menagerie, a play written by Tennessee Williams. Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian

Looking to provide a change of scenery, the director of the upcoming production of The Glass Menagerie will use the thrust stage technique, where the audience sits on three sides of the set, on stage, with the cast.

John Dement believes this new setting will offer a unique experience for the actors and the audience in the SE Campus reenactment of the Tennessee Williams’ play.

“ I like to present a more intimate production so both performers and audience members realize there are all kinds of theater to go out and experience,” he said.

Actor Matt Palmer has worked with the thrust stage before in previous productions and enjoys the closeness with the audience.

“ It’s very easy, and I like to play with the audience and interact with them,” he said.

The Glass Menagerie portrays a family that many people will recognize, which makes it relevant and fun to watch, Dement said.

And the small environment, set in a 1930s apartment, provides an opportunity for the audience to connect with the characters.

“ It’s not a dusty old play about people we could never identify with,” he said. “The play explores how the conflict between the parents has affected the children.”

Amanda is a single mother struggling to raise her two children, who are now adults. She wishes for Tom to take his place as the man of the household and for Laura to take her place in the world as a career woman.

But Amanda’s tight grip on the family results in neither of her wishes coming true.

“ Amanda depicts the ideas and attitude of the ’30s. She wants [her children] to have success and happiness, but she seems to go about it the wrong way,” actress Erika Kae said.

The demeanor of both Tom and Laura provides the actors several resources to tap into.

“ I have to learn to love Laura. I’m not shy, but I am quiet—so I can relate to that,” actress Brittney Moore, who plays Laura, said.

In addition to her quiet persona, Laura loves music, which Moore also enjoys.

“ She likes very old and vintage music that I think she listens to for the memories,” she said.

The awkward and sometimes frustrating moments taking place on stage, do not reflect the plot of the play, Dement said.

“ There is humor and strength in the play, not just depression and failure,” he said.

A week after the play closes on SE, Dement and the cast will take it to San Jacinto College for a chance to earn scholarships in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.

“ Our students will perform The Glass Menagerie twice and see eight other productions by fellow colleges and universities,” Dement said.

The production will run in the Roberson Theater on SE Campus Oct. 11-13 and 18-20 with shows 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 12 and Oct. 20.

Tickets are $6 for general admission, $3 for anyone under 18 and over 50, and free for TCC students and faculty.

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