"I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion"

Diversionary Theatre Presents Its Captivating Version of Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie"

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Luke H Jacobs, Shana Wride, Julia Belanova, Kirk Brown Photo by Andréa Agosto 
I always love it when companies bring back the classics. Diversionary is closing the year with Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie". A play that gave its author notoriety and was inspired on his life. This piece is interesting to produce as it has symbolism and interpretations that can be left to a direction note and have the audience catch the rest.  Directed by Lisa Berger, this version of Menagerie'  delivered poignant storytelling along with splendid performances. The plot revolves around the Wingfield family, specifically Amanda Wingfield, a castrating mother with two adult children Tom, who works at a shoe factory just for the paycheck and to support his family, and Laura, who is very shy, is in her mom's overbarring shadow and has a disability. They lead a peculiar lifestyle and Amanda reminisces on her old glories and would like the same for her kids. The disability aspect of Laura has been more evident in other renders of this piece. I would like to think that this was a conscious decision for this production to have it be more subtle physically, and stronger emotionally, which I appreciated.

The set design by Michael Wogulis was both creative and practical, featuring a one-floor house complete with a porch, dining area, and living room. There is the clever use of a gauze curtain to change scenes, showcases a seamless transition between the different settings. The lighting design by Vida Huang played a crucial role in accentuating key moments and enhancing the overall atmosphere, allowing the deep feeling of the emotions conveyed on stage.

Sound design by Remus Harrington and Elisa Vedar, along with Leah Osterman's prop design, added depth and provided subtle clues to the story. These elements worked in harmony, enriching the audience's experience.

Amanda is portrayed fantastically by Shana Wride. Her work was both powerful and nuanced, highlighting her versatility as an actress and artist, as not long ago she directed a pretty cool version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Luke Harvey Jacobs delivered a remarkable performance as both the narrator and the mysterious Tom Wingfield. His portrayal was captivating, drawing the audience into the story and keeping them engaged throughout. Julia Belanova's as Laura Wingfield was tender and mighty, as her character developed and grew throughout the narrative. Kirk Brown, as Jim O'Connor, brought a wonderful voice and charm to the stage, shaking things up with his presence.

Diversionary Theatre's interpretation of "The Glass Menagerie" showcased the company's unique voice and style, breathing new life into this classic play. It was nice to experience this timeless story from their perspective, leaving the audience moved by the production.

Currently playing until December 23, for ticket prices and showtimes, please click HERE

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