On February 4, 2000, the Western Kentucky University players visited the main campus of Columbia State Community College. The players preformed one of Tennessee Williams’ plays, The Glass Menagerie. This play was excellently done. The character that played Tom, Chris Hendrix, was the character that brought the entire work together. It seems as though it was done just the way that Tennessee Williams had intended. In the original script, Tennessee Williams portrays Tom to be a family man that works hard to support the mother and sister that live with him.
Tom almost tries to hide the fact that he is also a thinker. Tom is known to write poetry. One of his fellow workers even calls him Shakespeare. Tom pays the bills, and still treated like he is a child. The other to people in the house, Tom’s sister and mother, do not seem to work at all, other than the fact that Tom’s mother sells magazine subscriptions over the phone. The character is played well by, Chris Hendrix. He is fitted in what seems to be typical factory workers’ uniforms.
The actual acting of Tom is amazing. He looks as if he really gets into the part. In some of the narrative scenes, Tom actually leaves the stage and walks up and down the aisle of the theatre. No matter how unconventional his action, it was very effective. That action brought the play to the audience and made the audience feel as if they were active members of the play. Given the fact that the play has the confining effect of a small St. Louis apartment, it makes the audience feel as if they are in the apartment.
Another fact that makes Tom Wingfield stick out in this production is that it is a memory play. This by nature makes Tom the center of the play. It is also a point in the play that ties the audience into the play itself. This type of play is designed to make a connection between themselves and Tom. The fact that Tom is speaking directly to the audience emphasizes the production. Again, Hendrix’s use of the entire theatre is complementary this idea that Tennessee Williams is trying to give to the audience.
On the other hand, there is one cast member that seems to take away from the entire production. Niki Walls, who played the part of Amanda Wingfield, did not adequately portray the character of Tom’s mother. It may be the simple fact that Niki Walls may me too young to play the mother of a person who is perceived to be about the same age as the son, Tom played by Chris Hendrix. Further make-up and maybe a wig would have made that character a lot more believable. Given this fact, this character did the best that she could do.
In conclusion, this performance of The Glass Menagerie was very well done. The cast members did, to the best of their ability, perform the play as Tennessee Williams would have meant for it to be. Other than very small mistakes in the articulation of the play, the production was done perfectly. This play is one that I would recommend to anyone that has even the slightest bit on interest in theatres. The Glass Menagerie is a play that was very well written and extremely well performed with great thanks to the actor that played Tom Wingfield, Chris Hendrix.