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The Glass Menagerie


Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie (2022)

“The play is memory” (Williams, 19) is what the narrator, Tom, informs the audience during his opening  monologue. “The Glass Menagerie” is a monumental work of American drama that seems to reside between  reality and memory as a dubious zone of emotional reconstruction with a very specific point of view, that of  Tom, the older son of the Wingfield family who’s also the narrator of the events of the play (King, 3). This is  exactly the epicentre of our performance, the issue of memory. What is actually memory and what is simply  a mental construction which fills in gaps in the narrator’s perception of events and thus creates a narrative  that confirms his actions are justified or at least understandable.  

Everything that takes place in the text is filtered through the perspective of Tom the narrator. This is what we wanted to bring into focus with our performance, to create a perspective from which every  utterance, every piece of furniture, every movement, the lights, the music, is all controlled by a single actor.  To begin with, the staging of the play exists itself in this intermittent place between a habitable and a  subjective and inaccessible to others space. We combined elements of the staging directions from the original  text, which calls for an ordinary working class American family home and elements of a non-place, a zone of  poetic abstraction, creating a uniform white space that is inhabited by the memories of Tom’s early  adulthood. 

As the play itself suggests “everything seems to happen to music” (Williams, 19). We decided to test the  limits of this idea by meticulously crafting musical pieces that function both as space-creating soundscapes  and as doubles for the characters’ internal struggles and desires. We wanted to create the feeling of  sentimental exposure, with sounds that rush out into the stage, lingering along and around the actions of the  actors who exist on it. The creation of this particular musical environment allowed us to create an  atmosphere in which there’s no affective and cerebral distance from the events on stage. 

The text itself seems to present events in a self-assured manner, as if everything we witness should be taken  as purely realistic and factual. If one were to ignore the narrator’s proclamations about memory the play  could be enjoyed as a deeply affective piece of family drama. We wanted to challenge this surface level  reading, or rather to unearth another layer that Tom the narrator warns us about. That is, that not everything  can be trusted. To highlight this and to activate the audience’s critical capacities , we split Tom’s character in  two, having a different member of our cast play the narrating version of Tom and another the memory  version of Tom. By making this split we understood that we could further undercut the validity of what is  presented to us by placing Tom the narrator sometimes within and other times outside the action of his  memory, aiming to create a sense of critical distance in which we can assess what we see as a reliable  memory or as a fiction that stitches together a narrative.  

In essence we are moving in multiple directions at once, the realistic/affective/sentimental events of the play  that are highlighted by the music, the critical distance evident in the text itself (King, 3) created by the  double casting and the intermittent zone where both these paths overlap and create lively dissonance. What  has come out of this attempt to reconcile seemingly incongruent flows is a production that wildly oscillates  between sentimental nostalgia, irony, and a restless sense of regret and these are the stages that the Narrator  seems to move through in the play as becomes evident in his big monologues. Tom as the Narrator who  provides our point of view attempts to run away from his past only to fall into it revealing a gapping wound  of regret by the end of it only to manage to escape into ironic detachment at the last moment, leaving the  audience to face the situation he created. (King, 9)

Finally, in terms of casting in this production, being a drama club that runs on an exclusive female actors  wellspring we decided to approach any potential gender issues that the production might raise with complete  indifference. In no way because identity politics and issues of gender are of no importance but simply  because the issue of gender, and particularly gender in connection with Queer theory, is not something to  which the play itself makes any claims . This production is not a queer re-reading of the play but rather,  simply a production in which the “dissonance” between the genders of the cast and that of the characters  exists coincidentally. Having said that, it is of utmost importance to understand the “women’s issues” the  play deals with, the position of women in the American society of the 1930s and before, the patriarchal/  homosocial chains that govern that world, and perhaps even the failures of those networks.  

 On Behalf of the members of the Drama Club 

-Sfakianakis Grigorios


Works cited 

1) Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. Edited by Robert Bray, Reprint, New Directions, 1999. 2) King, T. L. (1973). Irony and Distance in “The Glass Menagerie.” Educational Theatre Journal,  25(2), 207.


Poster of the play used by our Club for its presentation in June 2022.

Directed by
Σφακιανάκης Γρηγόριος (Sfakianakis Grigorios)
Ράπτης Νικόλαος (Raptis Nikolaos) Παπαγιαννοπούλου Βηθλεέμ (Papagiannopoulou Vithleem)

Costumes by
Γεωργίου Ζωή (Georgiou Zoi)
Κόδρου Έλενα (Kodrou Elena) Σφακιανάκης Γρηγόριος (
Sfakianakis Grigorios)
Μητρούσια Δήμητρα (Mitrousia Dimitra)

Set by
Γκίκα Δήμητρα (Gkika Dimitra) Σφακιανάκης Γρηγόριος (Sfakianakis Grigorios)
Αγγελογιάννος Βασίλειος (Angelogiannos Vasilios)
Δραζινάκης Ευάγγελος (Drazinakis Evangelos)
Γεωργίου Ζωή (Georgiou Zoi)
Λούρο Ντέμη (Luro Demy)
Τζίμας Θεοχάρης (Tzimas Theocharis) Κουλουρίδη Μαρία Ελένη (Koulouridi Maria-Eleni)

Music by
Σφακιανάκης Γρηγόριος (Sfakianakis Grigorios)
Ανγγελογιάννος Βασίλειος (
Angelogiannos Vasilios)

Poster and programme by
Γεωργίου Ζωή (Georgiou Zoi)
Επισκόπου Μαρία (Episkopou Maria) Αγγελογιάννος Βασίλειος (Angelogiannos Vasilios)
Γκίκα Δήμητρα (Gkika Dimitra)
Σφακιανάκης Γρηγόριος (
Sfakianakis Grigorios)

Production Coordinator
Κουλουρίδη Μαρία Ελένη (Koulouridi Maria-Eleni)

Directed and Presented by Members of the English Department Drama Club:

Βάσιου Γεωργία (Vasiou Georgia) as Amanda Wingfield

Γεωργίου Ζωή (Georgiou Zoi) as Tom Wingfield / The Narrator

Κόδρου Έλενα (Kodrou Elena) as Laura Wingfield

Λούρο Ντέμη (Luro Demy) as Jim O' Connor
Σεραφείδη Μαρικάλια (Serafeide Mary Kelly) as Tom Wingfield

Meet the people involved 



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