The Glass Menagerie Comes to Wolfville
By Mike Butler
The Wolfville Theatre Collective, the local community theatre group that brought you Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Death of a Salesman, and Tuesdays with Morrie, returns this September with another classic drama for the valley to embrace: Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.
The Glass Menagerie is the play closest to the early life of Tennessee Williams, and the work that made him famous in the theatre world. Williams’ real first name is Thomas, and Tom, a would-be writer, is the narrator we meet as the drama begins. Tom takes us back to St. Louis, Missouri in the late 1930s and the apartment of the Wingfields, where we meet the two women in his life who he loves and wants to protect, but whose demands he also wants to escape in order to live his own life. The character of Tom is played by me (Mike Butler). Recently I’ve been in The Long Weekend at Centrestage Theatre, I’ve directed Grease for Quick as a Wink Theatre Society, and played Mitch in the WTC production of Tuesdays with Morrie.
Amanda, Tom’s mother, is a faded remnant of southern gentility that lives in poverty after her husband leaves her. She fights to keep her family afloat, seeking solace in dreams of a beautiful past. She is especially worried about her reclusive daughter, Laura, who is tempted to escape into a world of illusion, her glass menagerie, beautiful but fragile. The role of Amanda is being played by local actress Thea Burton, no stranger to the stage, with recent performances in Stage Prophet’s Anne & Gilbert, a directing stint for a production of The Music Man with Quick as a Wink Theatre Society and Pride & Prejudice in Halifax. Emily Burton, who was last seen in the Centrestage productions Wedding Belles, Witness for the Prosecution and Murder at Café Noir, plays the fragile character of Laura.
The gentleman caller is being played by Acadia professor and Wolfville Theatre Collective alum Michael Dennis. Michael was last seen in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? before going behind the scenes as director for Death of a Salesman.
The Glass Menagerie is directed by Paul Abela, another Acadia professor participates in the local theatre scene as both an actor and director. Paul was last seen in Centrestage’s Witness for the Prosecution and last year tackled two of the most challenging acting roles in theatre history, playing George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Menagerie is one of Paul’s favourite plays and he’s both proud and excited to share his vision with the valley. This is a production you don’t want to miss as the cast and crew have worked hard to produce something quite spectacular.
The Glass Menagerie is being performed at the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville. On Wednesday September 27 at 7pm there is a special ‘pay what you can’ preview performance, followed by regular performances from Thursday September 28 to Saturday September 30. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the show starts promptly at 7pm. There is also a matinee performance on Saturday September 30 at 2pm. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at the door or in advance at The Box of Delights Bookshop, 466 Main Street, Wolfville.
Thank you for supporting live local theatre! The Wolfville Theatre Collective hopes you enjoy this classic piece.