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AQ THEATRE PRESENTS A 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF "THE GLASS MENAGERIE"

January 18, 2007 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (January 18, 2007) - The Aquinas College Theatre Program presents a 60th Anniversary production honoring Tennessee Williams’ masterwork, “The Glass Menagerie.” “The Glass Menagerie” is one of the great classic dramas of the twentieth century, and the play that signaled Tennessee Williams’ arrival on the world stage. Directed by Guest Director in Residence, Dr. Paul J. Little and starring a special guest appearance of Anthony Guest, Director of the Aquinas College Theatre Program as The Narrator, the outstanding cast also includes Nadia Andrus as Amanda, Patrick Earl as Tom, Anne Tensen as Laura, and Adam Woolsey as Jim.

For this production, Director Paul Little has moved the time of the play from the 1930s to 1961 St. Louis. Set in the period just prior to the escalation of the war in Vietnam, Little hopes to expose the dissonant undertones present in this semi-autobiographical look at the early life of author, Tennessee Williams. "The Glass Menagerie" is a heartbreaking yet often funny "memory play" told from the perspective of Tom Wingfield. Moving through the bars and sex shops of a large city, the play’s narrator takes the audience back to a time when America was about to become more deeply involved in an un-popular war. It was a time when many young people were revolting against the establishment and the Bay of Pigs had exposed our national vulnerability. The play reveals a family desperate to break free of the burdens of their past and their present. Tom's mother, Amanda has been abandoned by her husband, and now lives only for her children. His unmarried sister, Laura, is a fragile and painfully shy creature who retreats into a world of glass animals and Tom himself is torn between his need for personal adventure and the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. Each attempts to escape into their own personal "glass menagerie" as a means of eluding the pain of their own - and each other's - existence.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Little bring to life this unique approach to ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ He has a truly passionate take on this classic of the American theatre and we are pleased to be bringing his vision to our audiences. With an extraordinary cast and design team, this should be a menagerie to be remembered for years to come!” said Anthony Guest, Director of the Aquinas College Theatre program.

“The Glass Menagerie” will open on Thursday, February 15 and run through February 25. Performances for “The Glass Menagerie” will be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sunday, February 25 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $4 for students, $6 for faculty, staff, seniors and Marywood seniors. There will be a Talk-Back Dialog with the director and members of the cast on Friday, February 23 immediately following the performance. For tickets, call the Aquinas College Theatre Box Office after January 29 from noon to 5 p.m. at (616) 456-6656.

About The Creative Team

Dr. Paul J. Little (Director) is an award-winning director from Southern California. He is a recipient of the “Excellence in Theatre “ award from the Southern California Educational Theatre Association and the “Outstanding Contribution to Southern California Theatre” award from the Inland Empire Theatre League. He was the founder and Artistic Director of Camelot Productions, a Southern California regional theatre. He was the chairperson of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Redlands and Dean of Fine and Performing Arts at Cypress College. The following examples of plays he has directed evidence the broad spectrum of his theatre interest: “Othello,” “The Firebugs,” “Waiting for Godot,” “The Killer,” “A Flea in Her Ear,” “My Fair Lady,” “Antigone,” “The Visit,” “Twelfth Night,” ”Lysisrata,” “Barefoot in the Park,” ”Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “The Fantasticks,” “A Member of the Wedding,” “Abelard and Heloise,” “A Man for All Seasons,” and “Cyrano.” Two of the productions he directed, “The Dinning Room” and “Agnus of God,” were selected for special recognition by The American College Theatre Festival. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities from Syracuse University and a certificate from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

The producer of “The Glass Menagerie” has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by James Korf. The lighting design is by Catie Dreher. William Dunkel is the costume designer and the Technical Director is Don Wilson. The Stage Manager for this production is Aquinas College Sophomore Theatre student, Stephanie Cavalier.

The Aquinas College Theatre Program is dedicated to bringing the finest-quality college theatrical productions to Grand Rapids. The theatre is located on the Aquinas College campus, 1607 Robinson Road, Grand Rapids, MI. For further information, call (616) 632-2158.