Laura Wingfield’s fascination with her collection of glass figurines is a temporary respite from the outside world and her overbearing mother Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ landmark drama “The Glass Menagerie.” But it too often is performed solely as a hand-wringing tragedy, says Augustin J. Correro, co-artistic director of the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans.
“The Wingfields are a family,” says Correro, who directs the work. “They don’t stay together just out of a sense of duty. They have deep affection for one another. We’re trying to find the heartfelt and true moments where they connect.”
The production leans into the humor about the Wingfields’ life together in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda is the larger-than-life mother who won’t let go of her sense of her attractiveness as a younger woman living in the South. She tries to interest Tom’s friend Jim in Laura. Tom, who tells the story through his recollections, has his own aspirations.
“The Glass Menagerie” opens the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company’s season, which follows a theme about claustrophobic situations, Correro says. Productions include “Period of Adjustment,” about two married couples who find themselves sharing a Christmas Eve together, and “In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel,” in which an alcoholic painter tries to rejuvenate his career while his wife seeks companionship.
“The Glass Menagerie” is at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 26-28, and Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 1-17, at Marigny Opera House, 725 St.; Ferdinand St. www.twtheatrenola.com. Call (504) 264-2580 for tickets and information. Tickets $15-$28.
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“After seeing ‘The Glass Menagerie’ for the first time when I was in eighth grade, that was life-changing,” Batt says.