By Marc Prince
Metro Staff Reporter
Fall is upon us and with that comes the big opening act in the world of the creative arts world – Fall Theatre Season.
Tri-C’s offering this year is “The Glass Menagerie”, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Tennessee Williams. Directed by Metro Campus Professor Jimmie Woody, the play surrounds the lives and trials of a family in 1938. Now, don’t let the time period scare you away from the story. The story line is a much more updated take on the play, which debuted in 1945. This newer version adds current multi-media aspects to its normally vintage atmosphere and stage setting.
Woody is no stranger to directing such a prominent period play. He has taken the major seat of several college productions, 5 total, between Cleveland and New York City including the very popular play-turned-motion picture “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” written by choreopoet, Ntozake Shange. Woody said that he particularly loves working with artists in the community college theatre because of the opportunities to prepare them for acting at a four-year school in the future.
“The play is a ‘memory play’ and it’s about a character, Tom, who is about to leave is only family,” Woody said. That family is Laura, his paraplegic sister, and his aging,overbearing mother, Amanda.
The really special aspect of this production is that it is double casted, meaning that you will have the opportunity of experiencing two different casts between performances. In the flashbacks, experienced through on-stage screen recordings played during the performances and shot on location here on campus, as well as off-site on Whiskey Island and The Cleveland Museum of Art, Tom (the lead character) looks back to the family he left behind in order to live his own life and experience all it would have to offer.
First-time actor, Matthew Lenczewski reveals that getting into character was an easier chore than one in his position would imagine. He and his lead character, Tom,have both been in the same profession and both chose to take that chance that we all could learn from and live life for everything it has to offer.
Lenczewski was so inspired by the character that he offered the advice to “never be afraid to try something new and different.”
Kimberly Simbeck, who is actually a seasoned actress in her own right, shares a common bond with her character, Laura (Toms sister), as she herself has lived with a life-threatening condition just the same. Between the fresh take on a classic story and the devotion these actors have put into their work, this production promises to both entertain and induce reflection on ourselves.
“The Glass Menagerie” raised its curtain on Oct. 25th at the Metro Campus.
The performance dates are Nov. 1and 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets for the show are $10 general admission, $8.50 for students and $5 for all Tri-C Students.