INsiders Recap: The Glass Menagerie
By A Noise Within
March 27, 2019
On Tuesday, March 26th, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Bradley Griffin of Pepperdine University to speak to our INsiders group about Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. Dr. Griffin is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of the Theatre Program at Pepperdine University. He has been published in Theatre Journal and is the performance reviews editor for Ecumenica. The Glass Menagerie was the first play Dr. Griffin directed at Pepperdine in 2006 – and since then, he has directed several plays at the university.
The group began their discussion with a lively, and somewhat humorous recap of Dr. Griffin’s own production back in 2006 – he explained that although the production was a success, he had to experience the hard way that sometimes our expectations don’t match up to reality, and our “dream big” moments, like a big set with moving furniture, have to be subdued into more manageable staging ideas.
The conversation then moved on to A Noise Within’s very own production of The Glass Menagerie. In a popcorn-style discussion, the group answered various questions, beginning with, “What elements of ANW’s production stood out to you?” One member noted that ANW’s production really did a great job of portraying the show as an autobiography of Tennessee Williams – with design and staging choices that really connected the audience to his personal story. Another member noted that this particular production fit in extremely well with ANW’s larger season theme of, “Let Me In.” “Everyone is an outsider in some way or another,” this member noted, “it’s a very interesting and compelling take on what the American Dream really means, both in that time and today.”
Over the course of the evening, the group covered a wide variety of topics – from Tom’s complicity in the final scene, to Jim’s infamous gum-chewing – but the final discussion question was perhaps the most compelling, “Why do people like this show?” Answers ranged from, “there’s so much love in it, and you see that even when people love each other, you know they are still capable of hurting each other” to “with Williams’ poetic language, it’s hard not to be completely engrossed in this play.”
Thank you to Dr. Griffin for a truly engaging evening! Want to hear more, or better yet, want to become a member of INsiders? Contact Rebecca Wilson at (626) 356-3100 x109 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved! We hope to see you next time!