We can think of no better play for the Touchstone than the one that put Tennessee Williams on the map. Why? Because there is a unique intimacy to The Glass Menagerie that’s sure to be magnified by proximity. How do we remember the really hard moments in our lives? How do we think about our most difficult decisions? Why do we feel compelled to talk (or not talk) about choices we have made, actions we regret, pain we have caused? Williams asks us to confront, and not avoid, some tough questions in The Glass Menagerie. Here at the Touchstone, it’s a stirring, engaging endeavor we’ll undertake together.
Closing Night: October 15
Sound Design & Original Music
Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
Member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an Independent Labor Union
Member of United Scenic Artists
The American Players Theatre's good spirits
By Damien Jaques, OnMilwaukee.com, July 14, 2011.
'Menagerie' has a tougher edge
By Mike Fischer, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 8, 2011.
American Players Theatre's intimate, subtle and varied "Glass Menagerie"
By Tom Strini, Thirdcoast Digest, July 3, 2011.
APT's dreamlike 'Menagerie' captures the power of nostalgia
By Lindsay Christians, 77 Square, June 22, 2011.
American Players Theatre finds new heartbreak in The Glass Menagerie
By Amelia Cook, The Isthmus, June 22, 2011.
'Glass Menagerie' Opens APT's Touchstone
By Michael Muckian, Wisconsin Gazette, June 16, 2011.
Directing a famous play can be tricky. Like meeting a famous person. When you encounter someone (or something) famous, you probably already know a fair number of things about them when you arrive; you have expectations and/or apprehensions; the situation is charged; very likely you are not quite sure how best to approach them. So,
you have some options.
You can A) stand back and leave them alone, B) step up and try to impress them, or, C), be open to them, but be your best self, and meet them on their terms and your terms simultaneously. And while I don’t think I have ever succeeded in doing this with a famous person, it is what I try to do with famous plays.
The Glass Menagerie can be intimidating, as it is not only famous, but also very good. It is a seminal work of American Drama: smart, poetic, complex and engaging. It is also theatrically bold. Mr. Williams was very interested in theatrical techniques that were quite cutting-edge for his time, including expressionistic use of music, projections, highly theatrical lighting effects and more. Most productions, however, including the original Broadway production, ignored many of these ideas and made much more conventional, “realistic” choices.
In this production, we are trying to honor Mr. Williams’ original intent. Like him, we are acutely interested in truth (on which he waxes poetical in the opening moments of the play), but not terribly interested in realism. So, we are doing our best to re-imagine the play so that you may have the opportunity to see and hear it as if for the first time. We’ll call upon your imagination to partner with us in this endeavor. We’ll ask you to join us in our search for a little truth…hopefully, the journey we take together will be compelling and rewarding.
We are starting simply. A handful of excellent actors. A story being told in a room of strangers. A few pieces of furniture. One big picture. And a few vitally necessary props. We are attempting to listen deeply to this haunting, lyrical play and meet it on its own terms. We’ll try to keep our best selves active and present in the process so we can find new and better ways to tell this particular story at this particular moment to this particular audience in a way that no other ensemble of actors and artists ever would. We hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for your interest.