The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams' haunting portrayal of a family in crisis and a masterpiece of the American theatre, opens in Todd Theatre at the University of Rochester on Thursday, April 25.
"Todd's production immerses the audience in the heart of the Wingfield apartment—recreated in our theatre space—and explores the delicate brittleness of this magical text, bringing it home in a startlingly immediate way," said Nigel Maister, artistic director of Rochester's International Theatre Program. " I am hoping the production will engage a whole new generation of young theatregoers."
A powerful and moving drama, the play follows its iconic characters—the dreamer, Tom Wingfield, his crippled sister, Laura, and their overbearing mother, Amanda—as they deal with the disillusionment of the past and attempt to escape to a better future.
Set in a small tenement apartment in St. Louis, the work was Williams' first major play and incorporates several autobiographical elements, including his relationships with his mother and sister. Following this work, Williams went on to win two Pulitzers and write influential works in the American theatre including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, Night of the Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer, and Camino Real.
Guest director Laura Savia, a graduate of Northwestern University, has extensive directing credits, including work for TheatreworksUSA, The Attic, the 1st Irish Festival, NYU/Strasburg, as well as readings and workshops for The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, and Ma-Yi Theater Company. She assistant directed The Merchant of Venice on Broadway (starring Al Pacino), is a Drama League of New York Directing Fellow, and directs the Workshop at the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Set designer Daniel Zimmerman's New York credits include work with the Roundabout Theater Company, Ars Nova, Woodshed Collective, HERE Arts, Cherry Lane Theatre, and The Ohio. Regionally, he has worked with the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Humana Festival, Portland Stage, Kitchen Theater, and ReVision at Ashbury Park. He has a Master of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and is a frequent collaborator at the O'Neill Playwright's Conference.
Costume designer Jessica Pabst's recently received a Lucille Lortel nomination for her work on The Whale. Her credits include work with the Second Stage Uptown, Playwrights Horizons, The Flea Theatre, NYTW, Rattlestick Theatre. She also received a Drama Desk Nomination for She Kills Monsters. Lighting Designer Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew's work has been seen in New York, Los Angeles, the Czech Republic, Peru, and Scotland. She received a 2012 New York Innovative Theater Award nomination for her work in The Mothership Landing.
Los Angeles-based sound designer Veronika Vorel is the recipient of three Helen Hayes Award nominations. Her credits included Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth, Ford's Theatre, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, and Signature Theatre. Her associate sound design credits include work at the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage. She has been involved in the organization and curatorship of the sound design portion of the Prague Quadrennial Design Conference in 2003, 2007, and 2011.
The Glass Menagerie opens on Thursday, April 25, and runs through Saturday, May 4, in Todd Theatre on the University of Rochester's River Campus. Tickets are $7 for UR students; $10 for UR alumni, faculty, and staff, and for seniors (55 and over); and $13 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased up to an hour before each performance at the box office. They also are available online at rochester.edu/theatre or by calling 585.275.4088.