By: Courtney Suber
North Springs High School recently showed us all our inner unicorn with a performance of The Glass Menagerie, which premiered in the auditorium on December 5th, continuing through December 6th, December 7th, and December 8th. Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a “memory play” that serves as a slice of old-time Americana. The Glass Menagerie is well-known and unlike other plays in its significant emotional impact. The play is directed by North Springs Theater Instructor Joel King and student Kody Brown.
The North Springs version features a traditional rendition of “The Glass Menagerie,” the story of a mother, her two children, and a walkout father. The story centers around Laura Wingfield (played by Rachel Hertz) and her crippling social anxiety. Her mother, Amanda Wingfield (played by Genevieve Cortez) is concerned for her and believes that if she’s not working or attending school, she should find someone to provide for her. Tom Wingfield (played by Thomas Boswinkle) is “the man of the house” due to the family’s father’s exit and provides a steady income for the family. Little do Laura and Amanda know, he’s also planning to walk out, leaving them alone to fend for themselves.
The play is a heartrending story that winds you up only to break you down. The actors did a fantastic job of displaying emotion and commanding their audience, swaying us to feel specific ways about the events occurring. When Laura is crushed by the actions of Jim O’Connor’ (played by Matthew Szabo), her sad emotions are pushed onto the audience thanks to Hertz’s performance, allowing us to feel the same emotions as the characters. The characters seem to come to life through their portrayal; Tom Wingfield is the perfect example of a character who reacts from built-up anger then finally snaps which reflects the events that have occurred in the play. Laura Wingfield provides an insight as to what social awkwardness may be like and helps the audience to understand her connection with her Glass Menagerie. This is also when the role of the unicorn glass comes into play.
The set aids in presenting the old-time feeling that surrounds them. Music of the 1930’s that plays is meant not only to move the play forward by causing specific events to unfold, it is also a symbol of Laura and her relationship with her father and with men in general. This helps make the play-seer feel as if they’ve taken a trip to the past.
The Glass Menagerie is an emotional, entertaining, and necessary piece of drama; the North Springs Version proved to be a must-see.