About The Glass Menagerie
In this memory play, narrator Tom Wingfield who is also a character in the play, tells the story from his memories. Set in St. Louis in 1937, Tom works a tiresome job in a shoe warehouse in order to support his mother, Amanda, and his sister, Laura. His father, Mr. Wingfield, left the family years ago, and with the exception of one postcard, has not been heard from since. But his presence is pervasive, as his picture still hangs in the family’s living room.
It is dinnertime in the Wingfield home; and Amanda regales, once again, tales of her many suitors as a young women in the South. She is disheartened by Laura’s profound shyness and her inability to attract men the same way she did. In hopes of helping her gain some confidence, Amanda enrolls Laura in a business college.
Weeks later, Amanda discovers that Laura has dropped out without telling her. Amanda decides something must be done to find suitors for Laura. She starts selling magazine subscriptions in order to earn extra money, something Amanda is sure to bring the men calling.
Meanwhile, Tom is miserable at work and seeks distraction in the movies, drinking, literature, and writing, much to his mother’s disappointment. He knows his mother and sister rely on his income, but he feels trapped. Tom and Amanda argue frequently, and during one of their quarrels, Tom accidently breaks several of Laura’s prized glass figurines.
The next morning, Tom apologizes to his mother and they talk about his restlessness and Laura’s prospects. She asks him to keep an eye out for “nice, young men” at the warehouse to introduce to Laura. A few days later, he invites Jim O’Connor, a casual friend, home to dinner. Amanda is ecstatic and wants everything to be perfect.
The next evening, Amanda prepares an elaborate meal and insists Laura wear a new dress. Laura is petrified, especially when she discovers that Jim is the same person she had a crush on in high school. Tom and Jim arrive, and Laura, still terrified, quickly leaves the room. The men discuss their jobs at the warehouse, and Tom admits to Jim that he has used the money for their electric bill to join the Merchant Marines and leave his job and family, seeking adventure in the world.
Throughout dinner, Laura feigns illness while Amanda is a reincarnation of her flirty younger self. As dinner ends, the lights go out as a result of the unpaid electric bill. Candles are lit and Amanda encourages Jim to keep Laura company while she and Tom clean up dinner. At first Laura is paralyzed by her shyness when Jim joins her, but, once they start talking, she begins to come out of her shell. They reminisce about how they knew each other in high school and the nickname, “Blue Roses,” he had for her. Things continue to go well between Laura and Jim and they enjoy each other’s company.
Will Laura finally be able to overcome her shyness? Will Tom actually abandon his position as family breadwinner? Can Amanda let go of the past and help her children find their futures? The answers all lie in the conclusion of this classic American drama of a dire family’s challenges and fragility.
Authentic Community Theatre Inc.
Mission & History
Authentic Community Theatre, Inc. exists to educate and enrich the community through classes and theatre performances.
- Develop original work to address significant and relevant social issues.
- Offer educational opportunities for students to explore the creative arts and processes.
- Provide artistic outreach programs to underserved segments of our community.
- Encourage artistic growth in amateurs and professionals by providing professional and social opportunities for local artists.
ACT is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service. If you would like to make a donation, visit our donation page.
ACT began as a creative collaboration between Hagerstown native Niki Perini and English drama educators Tony Goode and Warwick Dobson. The trio met at an educational drama workshop run by Tony and Warwick in New York City. ACT became an official not-for-profit organization in the spring of 2005, and its first undertaking was the 2005 Summer Institute for the Arts (SIFTA). SIFTA was designed to bring together like-minded artists and arts educators committed to the development of community music, arts and performing projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
The organization has participated in everything from variety shows to art shows and from small showcase performances to the best known Broadway classics. The organization continues to grow and develop their programs by adding relevant productions and classes available to all ages.
In 2005 the organization started its Summer Institute For The Arts (SIFTA) program which includes a week long performance camp at the Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown as well as a Visual Arts camp located at Doubs Woods Park. Each camp hosts 80+ campers and are still running today.
In 2009, with the amazing support of the Nora Roberts Foundation, Authentic Community Theatre, Inc.’s Creative Arts Team brought an original “storytelling” to parks in Washington County. ACT eventually partnered with the Washington County Free Library System to present these original storytelling performances in several library branches to promote their Summer Reading Program! The program has grown to include outreach days with the local Meal Machine program and provides free books to all who attend the performance for summer reading as part of their outreach efforts in Washington County.
ACT has offered classes in voice, dance, and acting over the years and has changed and developed its classes to include a wide range of theatre based knowledge for its students. In 2012 they started a theatre program for students in grades 1-8 called ACTjr. The students in this group have an educational experience by learning the in's and out's of theatre from a performance perspective. ACTjr performs two productions a year and in 2018 partnered with the Maryland Theatre as their home for their productions.
In 2014 ACT started developing their Community Theatre program for teens and adults. After performing Annie at the Maryland Theatre they continued developing the program and finally in 2017 they partnered with the Maryland Theatre and started their full Community Theatre program with The Wizard of Oz. The Community Theatre program performs 3 shows a year at the Maryland Theatre and is open for ages 13 & up.
After the addition of the Community Theatre program, ACT began to grow quickly. In 2018 the organization relocated to a larger facility that provided them with a larger rehearsal space, more classrooms, and more overall space for the organization. With the demand for more productions on the rise the organization started developing more programs to meet the need.
In 2019 ACT added a Teen Theatre Group that will perform 2 shows a year and is specifically designed for ages 13-19 and a third ACTjr show as part of their SIFTA program that puts together a full show in just 2 weeks in the summer. The organization is also developing a Mentor Program that will give the ACTjr students a chance to work with the seasoned actors of the Community Theatre program in the same character roles to learn character development for a specific production.
- Bugsy Malone
- Bye Bye Birdie
- No Strings Attached
- You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown
- Cyrano De Burger Shack
- Schoolhouse Rock
- Lion King Jr
- The Wizard of Oz
- Elf Jr
- Aladdin Jr
- Dorothy in Wonderland
- Willy Wonka Jr
- Beauty and the Beast
- Beauty and the Beast Jr
- West Side Story
- Alice in Wonderland Jr
- James & The Giant Peach Jr
- Shrek Jr
- Little Mermaid Jr
- Sweeney Todd