published Friday, February 18th, 2011

Heartbreaking drama 'The Glass Menagerie' is Patten Series pick

Amanda Wingfield is no different than most mothers in having big dreams for her children. However, things don't always work out as mothers hope.

"The Glass Menagerie" the Tennessee Williams drama that tells the story of the Wingfield family, will be presented by the Walnut Street Theater of Philadelphia at the UTC Fine Arts Center on Saturday as part of the Patten Performing Arts Series.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be one of only two Southeast stops for the traveling production by the WST, the oldest continuously operating theater in the United States.

The theater, founded in 1809, has seen its stages filled by such luminaries as Edwin Booth, George M. Cohan, Will Rogers, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Ethel Waters, Audrey Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Lauren Bacall, George C. Scott, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Julie Harris, Jack Lemmon and William Shatner.

"The Glass Menagerie," the first national tour of a Walnut Street production, is considered an autobiographical play and was chosen because 2011 is the centennial year of its playwright's birth.

The tale of the Wingfield family, which has been beset by financial struggles, lost dreams and unfulfilled desires, is told in memory by son Tom, a warehouse worker who desires to be a poet.

His mother, Amanda, is a fading Southern belle who clings to her children, imploring them to achieve more in their lives than she has. Her daughter, Laura, is a painfully shy young woman who clings to her collection of glass ornaments for companionship. Her hope of finding love is raised when Tom brings home a gentleman caller who happens to be a former classmate of the two.

The timeless, four-character play was written by Williams in 1944.

IF YOU GO

* What: "The Glass Menagerie."

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

* Where: Fine Arts Center, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Vine and Palmetto streets.

* Admission: $22 adults, $19 seniors, $15 students.

* Phone: 425-4269.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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