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Syracuse Stage staging ‘The Glass Menagerie” April 2 through April 27

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SYRACUSE — “The Glass Menagerie” will reflect a tradition for Syracuse Stage when the classic drama opens on Wednesday.

The plays of Tennessee Williams have been a mainstay at Syracuse Stage. “A Streetcar Named Desire” was produced in 1977 and 2001, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1982, “Rose Tatoo” in 1989, the one-act plays “Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry,” “Something Unspoken” and “I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow” in 1995 and “The Glass Menagerie” in 1979 and 1999.

“The Glass Menagerie” will be performed from Wednesday through Sunday, April 27, in the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage drama complex.

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is widely considered the greatest Southern playwright and one of the greatest playwrights in the history of American drama.

Timothy Bond, director and producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage, said he was inspired by Mr. Williams’s original vision when he took on directing duties for “The Glass Menagerie.”

“His original vision for the play called for projections of words and images, elements rarely if ever used in productions of the play, and for the use of music,” Mr. Bond said in a news release.

“The Glass Menagerie” explores the illusory nature of dreams and the fragility of hope.

The play concerns Amanda, who was abandoned by the father of her children. She is obsessed with finding a suitor for her shy and vulnerable daughter, Laura. Tom, the restless and sensitive son who narrates the story, eases his frustrations with nighttime escapes “to the movies.” At Amanda’s urgings, Tom asks a co-worker to dinner. This “gentleman caller” offers them a sense of hope.

Mr. Williams coined the term “memory play” to describe “The Glass Menagerie” and called it “dimly lighted, sentimental and not realistic.”

.““The Glass Menagerie” premiered in Chicago in 1944 and moved to Broadway in 1945. The play has been adapted into two Hollywood movies, three radio productions, two television productions and seven Broadway productions.

In the Syracuse Stage lobby, throughout the run of “The Glass Menagerie,” patrons can view an exhibit presented by Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park. The exhibit features works by 12 local photographers, winners of the ninth annual Winter at the Zoo Photo Contest sponsored by Syracuse Stage.

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