Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Theatre Centre re-examines 'The Glass Menagerie'

Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Theatre Centre re-examines 'The Glass Menagerie'

Todd Olson makes directing debut with Tennessee Williams' play

March 7th, 2018 by Staff Report in Chattanooga Now - Art

Tia Strickland as Laura is astonished by the apparent romantic attentions of Jim, a gentleman caller played by Jacob Moore. (Cansler Photography)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: “The Glass Menagerie”

› Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.

› When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, March 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 p.m.; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, March 11, 18 and 15; 7 p.m. Thursdays, March 15 and 22

› Admission: $11-$30

› For more information: 423-267-8534

Special events
› Thursday, March 15: Live captioning for the hearing-impaired

› Friday, March 16: Talk-back after the show

Perhaps no play in modern theater has captured the imagination of the American audiences as Tennessee Williams' masterpiece "The Glass Menagerie." The play — which contained autobiographical elements mirroring Williams' life — was his first successful play, catapulting him from obscurity to fame when it premiered on Broadway in 1945.

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre will re-examine the play's origins and undeniable power in its upcoming production of the classic, opening Friday, March 9, and continuing through Sunday, March 25.

Years after leaving his mother and sister, Tom Wingfield struggles to absolve himself of the guilt of abandoning his family just as his father did. In front of the audience, Tom summons scenes from the past, where he lived in a small apartment with his faded Southern belle mother and shy, withdrawn sister. They struggled to get by financially, dreamed of the past and what could have been, and worried about what would become of Laura.

The CTC production is giving the work a compelling interpretation that director Todd Olson believes will captivate audiences. Olson, who joined the Theatre Centre as executive director last year, is making his CTC directing debut. He turned to Williams' original publication of the play, not the acting editions that evolved over time, to bring the story to the stage.

Olson has been inspired to divide the central character of Tom between two actors. Rob Inman, a veteran CTC actor, plays Tom in the present, and directs his narrative to the audience as he reflects on the past. Christian Smith, who most recently appeared in "Beauty and the Beast," plays the role of Tom in the past and interacts with the rest of the characters.

The strong ensemble is rounded out by Magge Cabrera-Hudgins as Amanda, Tia Strickland as Laura and Jacob Moore as Jim.

The CTC production will feature light projections by Philip Luckey to illuminate sets by designer Sarah Miecielica.

This show will be presented in the Circle Theatre with limited seating. Reservations are recommended.

For tickets, call the box office at 423-267-8534 or visit