"The Glass Menagerie" Opens this Week in the Hartmann Center

April 10, 2012

By Ivy Hillman '12

As the final production of the season, the Bradley University Department of Theatre Arts will present "The Glass Menagerie," an American classic by playwright Tennessee Williams. Opening night is Thursday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m. in the Hartmann Center.

The four-character plays set in St. Louis in the late 1930s follows the struggles of the Wingfield family after Mr. Wingfield has abandoned his wife and two adult children. William, who lived in St. Louis during the Great Depression, is believed to have based "The Glass Menagerie" partly on his personal life.

Freshman Madelyn Brandt will play the part of Laura Wingfield, the family's shy and slightly crippled daughter. The performance is her first main stage production at Bradley.

"I am excited to be making my debut and to get my face out there as a theater major," Brandt said. "My performance history has included mostly comedic roles, so I am very grateful to be developing my more dramatic acting skills that I can hopefully use in future productions."

Senior Kevin Logsdon is stepping out of his comfort zone with his role as Tom Wingfield, the play's narrator of sorts, and shares Brandt's enthusiasm.

"I am a comedian, so any chance I can play a more serious role I really enjoy it. I actually like playing serious roles, and I think that it will help me grow as an actor as well," Logsdon said.

Senior Chloe Dzielak, portraying the distraught mother Amanda Wingfield, is looking forward to playing a role that is much different from her personal life.

"It's a great acting exercise to step into someone's psyche who has had a very different life path than yours, and I think that getting the chance to play an older mother while here at Bradley is helping me to broaden my perspective," Dzielak, a theater major, said.

She believes this opportunity in her Bradley career will help her in the future.

"In the long run, I believe I'll be a better actor for having played characters that are very different from myself," Dzielak said.

Senior Brian Zinda's last role was Caliban in "The Tempest." Now playing the part of Jim O'Connor, an acquaintance of Wingfield children, Zinda feels the same as Dzielak when it comes to his future in acting.

"Just having to be versatile with characters can help out with the future," he said.

The production runs from April 19 to 21 and April 26 to 28 at 8 p.m. and on April 22 and 29 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for students, $14 for Bradley faculty and staff, and $17 for the general public.

Tickets can be purchased at the Hartmann Center Box Office or by calling (309) 677-2650. Reservation requests can be made on-line by visiting Bradley University.