St Louis, 1938. Amanda Wingfield has a problem. Abandoned by her husband, short on money with a shy handicapped daughter and a poet son who works in a shoe factory, she’s reduced to selling magazine subscriptions to make ends meet.
Yet, she has dreams rooted in memories of her Southern youth when she dazzled the boys with her charm. If only her son Tom would find the perfect gentleman caller to sweep the timid Laura off her feet, they’d escape their dreary plight and resume their rightful place in the world.
The Glass Menagerie, an American classic by Tennessee Williams opens Lean Ensemble Theater’s “Season of Memories.” The play, directed by LET Artistic Director Blake White, features ensemble members Nora Leahy, Matt Mundy, and Jenny Zmarzly as well as Torsten Johnson who will be making his Lowcountry stage debut. Filled with unforgettable monologues and characters, The Glass Menagerie is regarded as William’s fictionalized version of his own life with all its imperfect recollections, confusion, anger, and yearnings as told through the voice of Tom, the play’s narrator.
Tom, an intellectual who reads D.H. Lawrence and longs for a life beyond the confines of their shabby apartment, calls his tale “a memory play.” He says, “Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic. In memory everything seems to happen to music.” And it is the theme of memory, and the stories we tell ourselves and how they shape our identities, that infuses Lean Ensemble’s new season.
Lean Ensemble’s “Season of Memories” includes the 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist The Waverly Gallery, the heartrending yet comic story of a family’s coming to terms with their grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, by Kenneth Lonergan in January and Christopher Durang’s brilliant Tony and Drama Desk award-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in May.
The Glass Menagerie. Four performances only! Audience talkbacks with members of the Lean Ensemble following each show. October 22-24 at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinee October 25 at 2 PM. Main Street Theatre 3000 Main Street, Hilton Head Island. Tickets: $40 evening performances; $35 matinee; $15 students/active military. Discounted subscriptions to all three plays available. To purchase call 843.715.6676. For more information visit www.leanensemble.org