The Glass Menagerie
by TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
directed by JOSEPH HAJ
Wurtele Thrust Stage
A poetic memory play
From her cramped St. Louis apartment, Amanda Wingfield dreams of her days as a Southern debutante while worrying about the future of her aimless son Tom and unmarried daughter Laura. With their father absent and the Great Depression in motion, the siblings find comfort in their foibles — alcohol, movies and writing for Tom and a collection of glass animals for Laura — which only heightens Amanda’s anxiety. When a gentleman caller arrives for dinner, the Wingfields are flooded with hope. But it’s unclear if his presence will change things for the better or shatter their fragile illusions.
Three things to know
- Considered one of the most significant plays in the American theater canon, The Glass Menagerie premiered on Broadway in 1945 and became an instant commercial and artistic success that established Tennessee Williams’ reputation as a playwright.
- The Glass Menagerie is the most revived play on Broadway in the last 70 years (followed by Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire). This is the Guthrie’s fifth production.
- The play and its characters are based on Williams’ life and family. As a young man, he was employed by the International Shoe Company in St. Louis — the same place Tom Wingfield works in the play.