MCC to Stage ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Feb. 17-21

The Glass Menagerie at MCC

The MCC production of "The Glass Menagerie" includes cast members (left to right) Aidan Smith, Hannah Erdman, Dakotah Salazar and Adreinne Lewis. Photo by Fred Reinecke

Muskegon Community College will stage one of the most famous memory plays in history, Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” in Overbrook Theater on Feb. 17-21.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 17-20, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21. On Feb. 18, MCC English Instructor Mary Tyler will lead a pre-show discussion at 6:30 p.m. in the Overbrook Gallery. On Feb. 19, the performance will include an ASL interpreter for the hearing impaired and the MCC Alumni Association will host a pre-show reception open to the public beginning at 6:15 p.m. in Overbook Gallery.

Tickets, which go on sale Monday, Feb. 8, are $10 for the general public and $5 for current MCC students, faculty and employees, as well as for MCC alumni with their Alumni Membership Card. For reservations or further information, call (231) 777-0324.

A masterpiece for four actors, “The Glass Menagerie” portrays a family’s struggle to maintain the precarious balance between a difficult past and an uncertain future, exploring the bonds of family, the weight of memory, and the force of loss.

Williams’ bittersweet semi-autobiographical account of his coming of age in 1930s St. Louis is told from the perspective of his literary surrogate, Tom Wingfield, who serves as both narrator and the lens through which we experience the Wingfield’s plight. His dilemma forms the central conflict of the play as he faces the agonizing choice between responsibility for his family and living his own life.

Williams, having “a poet’s weakness for symbols,” fills the play with imagery: the glass menagerie, in its fragility and delicate beauty, is a symbol for Tom’s sister Laura; the fire escape is most closely linked to Tom and to the theme of escape; even the theme of memory is important. For Amanda, Tom’s mother, memory is her anchor, her escape into a kinder, gentler time. For Tom, the older Tom who narrates the events of the play, memory is the thing that cannot be escaped.

MCC’s Director of the Center for Theater, Sheila Wahamaki, takes on the role of director for this classic American drama supported by Student Director Cecelia Gorman. “The Glass Menagerie” features Dakotah Salazar as Tom, Hannah Erdman as Amanda, Adrianne Lewis as Laura, and Aidan Smith as Jim. Set and light design by Tom Harryman, costumes by Susan Eyler, and scenic paint design and construction by Brian Goodman.

Written in 1943, “The Glass Menagerie” was William’s second play to be produced and the first of a series of successes, including Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics’ Award winners “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955). Williams is acknowledged today as one of the most accomplished playwrights in the history of English speaki