Category Archives: Nathan’s Blog

Nathan Goulart-Pasco is a nineteen-year-old theatre lover from Brookfield, Massachusetts, who serves as an alternate member on the TCS board and has been in several TCS shows. This summer, he will be chronicling our production of The Glass Menagerie.

Tickets on sale for The Glass Menagerie

Performances of the great drama The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams will be on Fridays and Saturdays 9, 10, 16, 17 August 2013 at 7:30 PM, with matinees  on Sundays 11, 18 August at 2:00 PM.

Seating is on two sides of a thrust stage, with the rear rows elevated for better sight lines.  The number of seats is limited, and seat locations are reserved, so purchasing tickets  in advance is recommended; see our Tickets page.  Tickets  are $15 for adults, and $12 for seniors and students.

Also visit our Directions page for the location and The Glass Menagerie page for more info and the flyer.

You can read fascinating insights about the production in a chronicle about the rehearsal process  in Nathan’s Blog.

First Run-Thru

At rehearsal tonight for The Glass Menagerie, the actors performed what is called a “stumble through,” in which the show is run without using the scripts.  It continues to be very exciting to watch these four talented performers depend only on themselves and their characterizations, which has been the case all along; they are all very successful. This show is going to be amazing!

The lighting designer, Larry Segel, was in attendance to discuss the lighting for the show, and that was also a treat.  The set design is going to be wonderful, and will help establish the tone of the show.  Without giving too much away, I will say that you will feel like you are present in the lives of these four people.

Let me also say that there are some modern things being blended into the show to give it a contemporary edge while still maintaining the depth and perfection of the play.  Lexi Deschene is doing an incredibly job as director, assisted by Nicholas Meunier. This production will leave you breathless!

Keep a look out for more on The Glass Menagerie presented by the Theatre Company of Saugus, August 9 – 11 & 16 – 18, 2013.  Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 PM, and Sunday performances are at 2:00, at the East Saugus United Methodist Church.

Acting is Reacting

This is a very exciting rehearsal of The Glass Menagerie, because tonight we are in a different rehearsal space.  The wonderful thing is that the actors are adjusting to it so well, and they are playing the scenes perfectly.

Another wonderful thing I have noticed in tonight’s rehearsal is the way the actors are reacting during certain moments. “Acting is reacting,” right?  For example, there is a wonderful scene between Amanda and Laura, and both actresses do a superb job reacting to each other!

Another scene rehearsed tonight was between the characters of Jim and Laura, in which they discuss their past. To watch scenes such as these develop is such a treat. This plat is so well-written that, as I have said before, the writing lends itself to the performers. These four actors truly understand their roles, and are very dedicated to making this production amazing, which I have no doubt it will be. All I can say is that if these amazing moments make me tear up during the rehearsals, just think what will happen during the actual performances!

Kyle Raiche, “Tom 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 think each of the characters have their own way of hiding, so it’s been really interesting to play with what that means in terms of Tom.” 

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

“I think Tom and I are at similar times in our lives; we’re both young adults that are learning to stand on our own two feet, and we’re exploring our identities.” 

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

“I love Tennessee Williams as a poet, which is something I have a passion for. He uses words in ways that no other playwright has before.” 

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

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I love the opportunities we’ve found for small moments between Tom and Laura, exploring their relationship as siblings and playing around with that brother-sister love.” 

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

“I worked with TCS as a youth member a very long time ago, and I’ve had a warm and welcoming return.” 

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

“I’ve had the opportunity to play both Louis Ironson and Roy Cohn in Angels in America, and that was a really special experience.” 

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

“I recently received my BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, so I’ve been training for this type of work.” 

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 the audience takes away a sense of freedom. I feel like each character is trapped in one way or another, but they’re fighting really hard to find their freedom. I hope the audience can find that within themselves, and maybe remove themselves from whatever situations they may be trapped in.” 

The symbolism in this play is so strong. How do you feel about the way Williams incorporates metaphors? 

“I love it. My favorite metaphor in the play is Malvolio the Magician; I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to give anything away, but hopefully the audience will be excited for that.” 

How do you feel about being the one character that break the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience? 

“I am in love with breaking the fourth wall. I love direct address, and Tom can be look at as such a villainous character, but I think in these monologues, Tom gets to unzip himself and find some really vulnerable moments, fingers crossed!”

Wendy Lippe, “Amanda 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?

“What a great question! It’s an important one to think about too.  I think it’s Amanda’s narcissism, which like all narcissism, is rooted in vulnerability. I think the relational dilemma Amanda faces, as a result, is really interesting to explore.  She desperately tries to connect with her children and love them. She wants to be this loving, attentive mother, but she often feels resistance coming from her children as they try to be their own separate selves.  Amanda’s narcissism makes it difficult for her to tolerate her children’s separation and individuation process, and this then leads her to be harsh, overbearing, and controlling.”

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

“Let me just say that I think the play is painfully close to my heart, not in a literal sense – It’s not like these things have happened in my family – but the emotional stirrings of the play are almost uncanny.”

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

“It means something about the ubiquitous nature of family dysfunction, and that there is no such thing as a normal family. Every family has its pathology and its pain, and every family is unique in the way it handles that.  But we’re all broken, and The Glass Menagerie may be an extreme example of that, but none of us are truly whole.”

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

“No, that’s like asking me my favorite vacation destination! There are so many moments that are wonderful, and that is because of our fabulous director Lexi, who is just a natural. She has created so many beautiful moments by using a system of breaking the play down into separate units.  This is a process Stanislavski wrote about and I think without it, there are so many moments that you risk losing.  No, there are simply too many delicious moments to have a favorite!”

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

“Amazing! The first show I did with TCS was The Cherry Orchard, in which I played Madame Ranevsky.  I loved working with them. They are one of the nicest, most down-to-earth theatre groups I have ever worked with.  After The Cherry Orchard, I was waiting for them to produce more serious drama, which is my passion.  I was thrilled that they were doing The Glass Menagerie.

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

“Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet is my favorite role of all time. I developed the role of a female Hamlet over the course of a number of years, and performed it with three different Boston-area theater companies.”

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

“I think the three roles that have the most significant contributions are probably Hamlet, Madame Ranevsky, and Inez from No Exit because of the emotional range all three required. These roles, like the role of Amanda Wingfield, require digging deep down and accessing the darker parts of myself that are difficult to face. Importantly, playing with all of these roles has helped me to work through some unresolved issues from my family of origin.  And training in Method acting – couldn’t do the work without it!”

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?

“For me, shows get better as they progress in rehearsals and performances, and there’s something that’s tragic about that because by the time a show closes, we are usually just hitting our stride. I love resurrecting shows that mean something to me; it’s ultimately not about opening night or any particular performance.  It’s about an organic, developing process that gets better with time.  As with all serious drama, I want the audience to think about human nature, and how pieces of these characters are within all of us as human beings, even the deeply flawed aspects.”

There is so much going on within Amanda regarding her son and daughter. How do you plan on showing those layers to the audience?

“Well, the script does so much of that because it is brilliant, and then it’s about how you as an actress make the dilemmas and emotions inherent in the script real for yourself. So, for me, that goes back to Method acting, and using the pain, joy, etc. from my own life, and channeling it into this beautiful script. How do you do it? You can’t help but do it. It’s all about sincerity and making it real.”

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.”

Derek Bousquet, “Jim O’Connor”

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’ve been playing Jim with a lot of – cockiness, I suppose would be the best word, kind of self-obsessed and almost shallow, in a way. He still thinks so much of himself.” 

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

“I think I can be outgoing and somewhat confident. I’m proud of my accomplishments.” 

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

“All of these characters have beliefs that are correct. It’s a huge argument, but everybody is right. Everybody has a right to act the way they’re acting, and it’s up to the audience to see that all of these people are allowed to be who they are. They have something important to say.” 

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

“I like the fight between Tom and Amanda, where Tom gets sarcastic and says he’s a part of a gang and all that. I’m not in it, but it’s one of my favorite scenes in the show.” 

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

“I was in a play called Drawing the Shades, which is the story of four individuals and how their lives tie together. We performed it at my college, and I don’t think many people are familiar with it, but it’s about rape and how these individuals moved on past being sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.” 

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

“I was in a play called 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, and I was very outgoing in every scene.” 

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’m looking forward to performing in such a close space, where the audience can catch every little moment of the play. I’m hoping they’re all at the edge of their seats, playing strong attention to everything they’re watching. The way the space is designed feels very real.” 

What do you think your character brings to the play, being an outsider that comes into this chaotic household? 

“I want to bring in a new energy and excitement, kind of like sunshine coming in. I think that when we see the family interact with a new character, a lot of their truths come out by comparison.”