The Glass Menagerie, arguably Tennessee Williams’s most famous work, comes to Providence, RI, later this month in a new conception of the scripted drama. Produced twice before at Trinity Rep, in 1965 and 1991, this rendition of Williams’ play, directed by Brian Mertes, takes the classic memory play and transforms it into a piece which could more accurately be categorized a “dream play,” and at times, a nightmare—purposefully, of course.
The set, a far cry from Williams’s heavily stage-directed concept, is a barren square of carpet, surrounded by two pianos, a few chairs, and a bed suspended from the rafters of the Chace Theater. The curtains, specifically designed for this production, entail a veil that appears only during intermission, a sheer white cloth that billows behind a free-standing fan, and a set of vertical vinyl blinds reminiscent of a car wash. As the play unfolds, the set is flooded with detail: Tom Wingfield (Brian McEleney) spreads loofahs across the upstage area, Laura (Mia Ellis) pulls her glass playthings and moves them about the space, while Amanda (Anne Scurria) retrieves costume pieces from a free-hanging clothes rack behind the stage. Continue Reading