LSC-PA students handle “The Glass Menagerie” with care
At a school that makes ‘learning by doing’ a way of life, students in the Stagecraft Class at Lamar State College-Port Arthur are living large. They are putting on the Tennessee Williams classic “The Glass Menagerie” for three shows Nov. 21-23 in the Main Theater in the Sam and Linda Monroe Performing Arts Center.
“This class is an introduction to theater in general but also to the technical aspects,” Damon Gengo, Technical Director of Theater at LSC-PA, explained. “Our goal is to expose students to all that goes into a performance.”
Gengo is directing this play, which rocketed Williams to fame as a playwright after its 1944 debut and subsequent 15-month long run on Broadway.
Stephanie Evans of Vidor plays the role of Amanda Wingfield, the matriarch of a Southern family trying to hold on to the past in the fast-moving realities of post-World War I urban America. Port Neches-Groves grad Kaylee Dickens plays her physically challenged daughter Laura and Sabine Pass’ Vance Zumwalt is son Tom. Chris Moyers of Beaumont tackles the part of Jim O’Connor, Tom’s friend and Laura’s suitor.
“This was Tennessee Williams’ first successful play and it’s believed to be autobiographical about his own family,” Gengo said. “The fact that it’s a ‘memory play’ [all based on the recollections of his family by Tom, the narrator] gives us a lot of freedom in how we approach things.”
For instance, while “The Glass Menagerie” is noted as a play with only four characters, Gengo has added four minor parts played by Jason LaDay (Hamshire), Emily Corley (Orange), Denise Long (Vidor) and Stephanie Molina (Groves). They serve as part-stagehands and part-illusions, helping the main characters move the show along.
“With so few characters, this is a challenging play to perform,” Gengo says. “What is cool is that of the four main actors, every one is new to our program this year. I didn’t say they’re new to the stage, but they are new to our program.”
The show’s technical director is Clark Reed, with David Gillespie the construction and stage crew manager; both are Theater Department staffers. Molina is the producer; Kelsey Strother of Vidor is the stage manager; and Corley is in charge of props, costumes and design. Nederland’s Katherine Powell is lighting director; Corbin Winston of Port Arthur heads sound design; and Moyers is the video designer.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students from other campuses and senior citizens. Students, faculty and staff of Lamar State College-Port Arthur are admitted free with college ID. Call 409-984-6111 for reservations.
To find out more about the Theater Department at Lamar State College-Port Arthur, call 409-984-6338. To apply to LSC-PA online, go to www.lamarpa.edu or call Admissions/Advising at 409-984-6186 or Financial Aid at 409-984-6203.