Michelle Mount, “Laura Wingfield”

Each of the characters in The Glass Menagerie are multifaceted, but do you have a favorite character trait that you are able to explore in your particular role? 

“I like that Laura is able to explore worlds within worlds, so while the ‘real word’ is happening around her, she is able to retreat inward, to a world of her own design, rather than being sucked into the reality of her external conditions.”

Does Laura have any traits that remind you of yourself? Do you have any life experiences that you can apply to the character? 

“When I was a little girl, my parents bought me a small, purple-tinted glass swan from Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri.  It was so small, so beautiful; I remember feeling entranced by its delicacy. I would hold it and stare at it with a kind of reverent awe. I had the little purple glass swan into my adulthood.  One day, I was sharing it with a child, and it broke.  I felt a twinge of pain in my stomach, accompanied by the sadness of knowing it was gone.  I can relate to the love Laura feels towards her glass menagerie.”

What does The Glass Menagerie mean to you as a theatre artist? 

“I think one of the messages for me is that we have memories that linger with us, almost haunt us, and those memories form who we are as well as our future selves. For me, this is a goodbye poem that Tom is writing about Laura; he wishes he can erase some of the guilt he has regarding her. The play is about is about how the echoes from our past dictate our present and future.” 

Although you are still in the early phases of the rehearsal process, do you have a favorite moment in the show? 

“It’s too hard to pick just one favorite moment, and I should probably be careful not to say too much, so for now, I’ll just say ‘blue roses!’”

How has your experience with the Theatre Company of Saugus been thus far? 

“It’s been fantastic. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of TCS’s The Glass Menagerie.  Everyone’s been so friendly and welcoming.  Lexi is a great director; she runs rehearsals with a high level of professionalism.  There’s a lot of positive feedback and collaboration.  There’s wonderful chemistry among the cast and crew.” 

As a performer, what has been one of your favorite roles to perform? 

“Since we’re in the vein of Tennessee Williams, I was able to play Maggie in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.  They’re both such different, richly textured characters: Maggie is vivacious, sensual, desperate, and strong. Whereas Laura is demure, sensitive, insecure and empathic.” 

How have your previous roles and theatrical experiences prepared you to play such a complex role? 

“Rather than past roles, I would say the research I’ve down towards and writing my thesis on Tennessee Williams has been invaluable. I’ve been reading Williams’ letters, memoirs, notebooks, journals – It’s definitely come in handy.”

What are you most looking forward to in delivering this wonderful piece of theatre on opening night? As a performer, what would you like the audience’s reaction to be? 

“I hope to give an honest portrayal of the goodness within Laura, as I feel she’s written by Tennessee Williams. I hope to authentically put that on the stage, and let the audience draw their own conclusions.”

How does it feel to play a character that has a physical flaw that is actually visible to the audience, rather than a character flaw that’s more inward? 

“Tennessee Williams’ sister, underwent a lobotomy with tragically unsuccessful results.  In this autobiographic play, I feel Williams shifts his sister’s mental disability to something physical with Laura’s crippled leg.”

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