From The Farmville Herald, October 21, 1998
On October 23, 24, 30, and 31, The Hampden-Sydney Fine Arts Department will present Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie as its fall production. The play is considered one of the American repertoire, and this production features the collaborate talents of Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood College students and faculty.
The play takes place in pre-World War II St. Louis and is a set of Tom Wingfield's memories of his past. It centers on the Wingfield family made up of Amanda and her two grown children, Tom and Laura. Tom remembers himself as a restless young man saddled with the responsibility of supporting the women of the family as a result of his father's abandonment 16 years earlier. Amanda, a strong and vibrant woman, laments the turn her fortunes have taken and attempts to make good by finding a worthy husband for her daughter, Laura. Laura, a painfully sky woman, has a hard time making personal connections and spends most of her time at home caring for her collection of glass figurines. Perhaps, most poignantly, the internal pressures of the Wingfield family life are exacerbated to the breaking point by the Great Depression. Can a family survive such a combination of circumstances? This is the theme that drives the play.
The cast and staff of this production includes students from both Hampden-Sydney and Longwood Colleges. Douglas Banks and Hassell Simpson play Tom of the Past and Present, respectively; Melody Macurdy plays Laura; Douglas Palmer plays Jim the Gentleman Caller; and Elizabeth Shields plays Amanda. Set design is by Matthew Dubroff, Longwood Professor of Theatre; lighting design by Stanley Cheyne, Hampden-Sydney Associate Professor of Physics; sound design by Andrew Duggan, a junior at Hampden-Sydney; and make-up by Joan McRae, Hampden-Sydney Assistant Professor of French. Director Shirley Kagan is in her second year as Assistant Professor of Theatre at Hampden-Sydney. Her most recent directing credit is the musical Sweet Charity in Tokyo this past August.
All performances will be at 8 p.m. in Johns Auditorium. General admission is $3; faculty and staff $2; Hampden-Sydney, Longwood, and high school students free.