A breakthrough and milestone in American drama.
Center Valley, PA – (September 13, 2019) – Act 1 DeSales University Theatre is pleased to announce the opening of its 50th anniversary season with “The Glass Menagerie,” opening Wednesday, September 25 and playing through Sunday, October 6 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University. “The Glass Menagerie” was the play that first brought Tennessee Williams to the attention of the entire world giving rise to the powerful new dramatic voice who became a titan of the American theatre. The play premiered in Chicago in 1944. The following year it opened on Broadway, winning The New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Williams went on to write many more great plays including “A Streetcar Named Desire,”” Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Night of the Iguana,” and many others.
“The Glass Menagerie” is a semi-autobiographical account of Williams’ time spent in 1930s St. Louis. An aging Southern belle, matriarch Amanda Wingfield is a single mother whose husband abandoned the family 16 years before. Her son Tom works in a shoe warehouse, setting aside his own ambition to travel and become a writer in order to support his mother and his sister. The painfully shy and fragile Laura, based on Williams’ own sister, had a bout of polio as a young woman and now she has withdrawn into her world of glass animals. Amanda determinedly tries to hold her family together and her only hope is for a suitor for Laura so that she can marry and have someone to take care of her. Brimming with poetic language and indelible characters, this heartbreaking yet often funny “memory play” is about the enduring but limiting nature of love.
“This play is in fact, the first memory play—it’s a term that Williams coined,” says Razze. “This device allows a writer to begin his story in the present and then go back in time and show the audience key episodes from their past that ultimately return us to the present where the narrator began their story. The memories are by nature subjective, as they are the memories of the narrator who, as is the case with Tom, may be an ‘unreliable’ narrator. The past that we remember may not be objective truth as it is colored by our own subjective memories.”
Act 1’s amazing faculty design team brings to life the small 1930s St. Louis apartment with sets by Will Neuert and costumes by Amy Best. Original music and sound design are created by William Neal. The lighting design is by Eric T. Haugen. Deanna Kahn ’21 is the production stage manager.
“The Glass Menagerie” opens on Wednesday, September 25 and performs through Sunday, October 6, 2019. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM. There is a Talk-Back performance with the cast on Sunday, September 29 immediately following the matinee performance. Ticket prices are $23 for adults and $21 for students and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays and $27 for adults and $25 for students and seniors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center box office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the web site at www.desales.edu/act1.
In an effort to improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, Oct. 5, 8:00 PM performance will feature Open Captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Open Captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage. During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call box office manager Nicole Moyer at 610-282-3654, ext. 1 for more information.
The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.
Theater/Organization: Labuda Center for the Performing Arts
Theater Address: 2755 Station Avenue Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034 (Map It)
Theater Phone: (610) 282-3192