(Posted September 29, 2014)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's theatre department will bring to life "The Glass Menagerie," a captivating, acclaimed autobiographical play dealing with severe mental illness and family dysfunction, at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 10 and 11, and Oct. 15-17 with a matinee at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 12 in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre on Juniata's campus.


The Juniata theatre program uses a "Pay What You Can" ticket plan. To make reservations go to Juniata's Tixato.com account. Reservations are free. Patrons can pick up tickets and, then, "Pay What You Can." The recommended ticket price is $10 but patrons are also welcome to pay nothing -- or $100. Patrons should pay what they can afford or whatever they believe the work is worth.

"It is the most autobiographical work Tennessee Williams ever wrote."

Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre



Directed by Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre, "The Glass Menagerie" was written by Tennessee Williams and details the trials and tribulations of a family that confronts severe mental illness and some rather disturbing events including sexual tension within the family and mental illness.

The plot centers around the character Tom, his mother Amanda, and sister Laura. Tom was abandoned by his father and left to attend to his sister's extreme mental fragility. Amanda maintains an obsession for her younger years as she desperately attempts to find Laura a husband. She is optimistic when Tom invites his old acquaintance, Jim O'Connor, to dinner. However, things start to unravel as the evening goes on.
The story and characters were largely created to reflect Williams's real life and family. It is a four-character memory piece in which Tom recounts the story from what he recalls of it.

"Tom, the narrator, is remembering moments from his past as he stands on stage and directly addresses the audience," says Utterback. "It is the most autobiographical work Tennessee Williams ever wrote. We haven't staged one of his plays for a while now and I've never seen a production that quite matched my vision of the play, so it is exciting to see how it will come to life."

The cast and crew for "The Glass Menagerie" are as follows:

Cast: Megan Smith, a senior from Scranton, Pa.; Lauren Dobbs, a junior from Hillsborough, S.C.; Andrew Kilpatrick, a senior from Johnstown, Pa.; and Lewis Boob, a freshman from Altoona, Pa.

Crew: Heidi Kleber, a senior from Morrisdale, Pa.; Rachel Cline, a sophomore from Brecksville, Ohio; Alexandra Webb, a freshman from Easthampton, Mass.; Ken Kysor, a senior from Port Allegany, Pa.; Ryan Gabriel, a junior from Milton, N.Y.; Chris Shirven, a freshman from Derwood, Md.; Rachel McCloskey, a sophomore from Altoona, Pa.; Alex McLemore, a junior from Phoenixville, Pa.; Idriss Touimi Benjeltoun, an international student from Casablanca, Morocco; Dean Polisena, an international student from Adelaide, Australia; Tasha Walters, a junior from Blanchard, Pa.; Frank Marin, a junior from Whitestone, N.Y.; Erik Wijmans, a junior from Menlo Park, Calif.; Jennifer Dupee, a junior from Flanders, N.J.; Doriana Hyman, a junior from Port Washington, N.Y.; Ethan Farrell, a senior from Damascus, Md.; Kiah Mahy, a senior from Silver Spring, Md.; Emily Brownholtz, a sophomore from Andover, Mass.; Lauren Dobbs, a junior from Hillsborough, S.C.; and Anna Oldenbrook, a freshman from Lakewood, Co.

Juniata College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, specializing in experiential learning, science research and education, and personal attention for all students. Juniata offers a college experience that emphasizes a student-alumni-faculty community extending beyond graduation.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.