Posting Date: October 8, 2008
ACTF praises "The Glass Menagerie"
By Cheryl Anderson Brown
The September production of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" has earned a glowing review from the American College Theatre Festival. The respondent who reviewed the show was impressed with the quality of the acting, directing, design and construction of the production as well as the amount of research that went into its preparation.
"The choice of the play was an ambitious one for an undergraduate B.A. program," the respondent wrote. "My reaction to the show is that it was a strong choice."
Student actors Mary Wolfson and Judy Newman, student designer James Maloof, student stage manager Brian van Buskirk and student dramaturg and assistant director Olivia Aston have each been nominated for an ACTF award.
Furthermore, the respondent offered praise for many individuals associated with the production, including:
Harrison Long (director): "Mr. Long displays a strong skill for textual analysis. Where there is humor, he pulls it out delicately. When there is an internal crisis that may not exist in words, Mr. Long uses timing, blocking, and physicality to convey the horrible anxiety within each of the cast members."
Andrew Puckett (Tom): "Mr. Puckett’s strength is his natural ability to wear Tom’s skin. He does not look like the character Tom, He is Tom. . . Tom has his saving graces, but he serves as antagonist as much as protagonist, and leaves the stage on a tragic note. Mr. Puckett allows a catharsis to develop quietly within the audience."
Mary Wolfson (Amanda): "The most striking of Ms. Wolfson’s many moments was the time when she came out in her cotillion gown. Here was a dress from age 16, outdated and aged like Amanda, and Ms. Wolfson wore it, twirled in it, and basked in her own radiance like a flower girl at a wedding. Her joy was sincere, touching, and achingly tragic. Such was her performance.
Judy Newman (Laura): "Ms. Newman creates a Laura that I would not have expected [even] from a graduate student. Her research and her natural ability allow her the chance to go on to a promising career."
Travis Young (Jim): "It’s easy for an actor to play Jim as someone who might build Laura up to build himself up, but Mr. Young takes a sincere approach that serves the play well."
Sandra Payne (costumes): "The costumes were realistic and appeared to be simple, but there was a level of detail not always found in studio shows."
James Maloof (sets): "His set served the play well in all aspects, but I was all the more impressed with his ground plan. Making a pretty picture is one thing, but a pretty picture that allows actors to move freely and fluidly is a special skill."