The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University presents “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams

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(Ashland, Ore.) – The Theatre Arts program of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University presents “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams in the Center Square Theatre on the Southern Oregon University campus. Performances run on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 19-21 and Feb. 26-28 at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1 at 2 p.m.

Tennessee Williams, one of America’s greatest playwrights, had his first success with this plaintive, semi-autobiographical memory play, focusing on a family struggling with the terrible burdens of love: the restless dreamer Tom, his fragile sister Laura, and their domineering mother Amanda, a faded Southern belle desperate to find a suitor for the pathologically shy Laura. A Gentleman Caller finally arrives, and alters the family’s life forever. Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it “a certifiable masterpiece.”

“The complexity of the characters and the poetry of the language is what drew me to this play,” said director James Edmondson. “Williams tackles human isolation, universal longing and the courage of small lives. His storytelling style, which combines realism with theatricality, is compelling.”

Edmondson has been acting and directing since 1971. He previously directed eight productions for SOU, most recently “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Cyrano Project.”  In his 38 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Edmondson directed 34 productions and acted in nearly 100 roles, including Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” and Richard in “Richard II.” He has worked for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, among others.

Rebecca Curtis plays Laura, Tamra Mathias plays Amanda, Henry Steelhammer plays Tom and Devin White plays the Gentleman Caller. “This cast has a depth of understanding and compassion and the willingness to take risks,” said Edmondson. “They are gaining a deeper understanding of another time in American life.”

The scenic designer is Marc Wheeler, costume designer is Shannon Benn, lighting designer is Sarah Schwartz and sound designer is Jonathan Pratt. The assistant director is Natalia Regalia-Affinito, technical direction is by JC Leyson and stage manager is Sabrina Schmit.

Tickets are $21 regular admission, $18 senior, and $6 for students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the SOU Music Recital Hall lobby. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts.

About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

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