It’s an era of economic instability. It’s an era of broken dreams and disaffected youth. A grim isolation that separates us from those we love and traps us in our own world. At least, that’s the way Tom Wingfield remembers his life in 1939 in The Glass Menagerie. The setting might be from another era, The Wild Project’s production reminds us that the realities of many of Tom’s memories are still alive today. And, of course, who else might be haunted years from now by their actions today?
There is a lot to like about The Wild Project’s The Glass Menagerie. The production is resourceful, dark, and almost supernaturally eerie. This Tom is haunted by a ghost, and we are given a chance to see his haunted house. It’s a chilling performance with a strong voice and coordination of vision.
The cast thrums with anguish in their shadowy interpretation of the Tennessee Williams classic. Matt de Rogatis thrashes about the stage as Tom Wingfield, desperate to escape the cage of his family’s reality. Ginger Grace makes Amanda Wingfield feel almost drunk in her disconnected haze. The chemistry between the characters is real, making the set feel claustrophobic while also making the balcony feel so real that you can imagine the dance hall far below. The minimal set (set designer Jessie Bonaventure) has more pantomime than props, keeps you out of focus, like details left out of a hazy remembrance. The newspapers they read aren’t real, but the lamp lighting the scene between Jim and Laura is. The real props snap into focus, drawing our attention. Clever sound cues (sound design Jesse Meckl) cover any gaps.
Ginger Grace (Amanda Wingfield)
Matt de Rogatis (Tom Wingfield)
Alexandra Rose (Laura Wingfield)
Spencer Scott (Jim O’Connor)
Austin Pendleton (co-Director)
Peter Bloch (Co-Director)
Jessie Bonaventure (Scenic Design)
Steve Wolf (Lighting Design)
Chris Loupos (Photographer)
Karen Greco (Press Consultant)
Jessica Carillo (Assistant Stage Manager)
Jesse Meckl (Stage Manager & Sound Design)
Jessie Wolfrom (Scrim Designer)
Paul Meier (DIALECT COACH TO MATT DE ROGATIS)