Tri-State Theater

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"The Glass Menagerie" - An Interview

It's time for another e-interview! Stepping up to our non-existent microphone is my pal Jack Cirillo, the director of The Glass Menagerie, which takes the stage tonight at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

Jack was nice enough to answer a few questions via email:

Q: For those who haven't seen it, tell us a bit about The Glass Menagerie.

A: An American classic and Tennessee Williams' first success. The story is somewhat autobiographical and focuses on a young man’s struggle to lead an independent life while taking care of an overbearing mother and handicapped sister during the depression just before World War II.

Q: Why did you want to direct this show?

A: This is a long time favorite of mine and a great challenge for young actors. The role of Amanda (the mother) is usually very difficult to cast in a college environment, but we are blessed with Mary Williams who has decided get her degree in theatre (shall we say) a bit later in life than your typical student. She’s outstanding in this part.

Q: It's a small cast - does that make it easier or more challenging for you and for the cast?

A: This offers the opportunity for more direct interaction with a cast. We get to ask lots of questions and find many of the answers. The rehearsal period has been somewhat shorter than usual, but the work has been very concentrated.

Q: Tell us about your cast.

A: They are astonishing — really! Adam Terry plays Tom Wingfield and has become such a wonderful talent. He has really made an incredible journey in this part and I couldn’t ask for better in this role. Mary Williams is a real pro. The character has so many layers and she manages to score on every one of them. Jeremy Plyburn has been doing work with me since he was a kid (Oliver! 10 years ago!!!!). Jeremy plays the “Gentleman Caller," a role I played when I was his age... he’s better... and I hate saying that! And Caitlin Haught has owned this role since she first read for it in auditions. She brings such an endearing, yet sad innocence to the part that it will break your heart. All four are seniors and all four are excellent.

Q: Why would you urge our readers to see this play?

A: You won’t see better performances anywhere for quite some time. Really. If you love great acting in one of the greatest plays ever written, set and costumed in a way that will transport you to a time and place that existed before TVs, IPODS, cell phones and McDonalds — this is one you can’t miss.

Q: When and where is the show and how much are the tickets?

A: The show plays Wed., Nov. 19 — Sat., Nov. 22, 8:00 p.m. at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Tickets are $14 for Adults, $7 for High School and younger, $12 for Seniors/Faculty and Staff, and free to MU students with ID.

Thanks, Jack!

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