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The Glass Menagerie

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Tennessee Williams
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Full Length, Drama
2 men, 2 women
Total Cast: 4, Interior
ISBN: 978-0-8222-0450-3
FEE: $100 per performance. SPECIAL NOTE: The music by Paul Bowles, used in the original production, is available on CD with a cue sheet through the Play Service for $60.00, plus shipping and handling. The nonprofessional fee for the use of this music is $15.00 per performance. Though the use of this music is not mandatory, it is recommended. Cues in book are partly at variance with those on the CD. Producers are urged to use their own judgment as to where recorded music may be used throughout the play.

THE STORY: Amanda Wingfield is a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom is driven nearly to distraction by his mother's nagging and seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies. Laura also lives in her illusions. She is crippled, and this defect, intensified by her mother's anxiety to see her married, has driven her more and more into herself. The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to take dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is a nice ordinary fellow who is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura. In spite of her crude and obvious efforts to entrap the young man, he and Laura manage to get along very nicely, and momentarily Laura is lifted out of herself into a new world. But this crashes when, toward the end, Jim explains that he is already engaged. The world of illusion that Amanda and Laura have striven to create in order to make life bearable collapses about them. Tom, too, at the end of his tether, at last leaves home.
A drama of great tenderness, charm and beauty, THE GLASS MENAGERIE is one of the most famous plays of the modern theatre.