The Glass Menagerie Lighting

The Glass Menagerie
Lighting Design

Scene One:

What happens: In scene one, Tom comes out on stage talking directly to the audience and tells them the history of this play. He informs the audience that he is the narrator and also a character within the play he introduces the other characters and talks about the realities of The Glass Menagerie. Tom, Amanda (his mother), and Laura (his sister) are eating together and get the history of Amanda’s character and tries to encourage her kids to have more manners and want gentlemen callers for Laura. Laura is shy and Tom becomes irritated with his mother over her orders for the both of them.

Theme: Memory plays a huge part in the play overall, but in this scene we hear a lot about the characters.

Time and Place: An alley in St. Louis. 1930’s.

Environmental Language: “Temperament like a Metropolitan star!” (669) The Wingfield apartment is in the rear of the building one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population and are symptomatic of the impulse of this largest and fundamentally enslaved section of American society to avoid fluidity and differentiation and to exist and function as one interfused mass of automatism.” (667)

Imagistic Language: “The apartment faces an alley and it is entered by a fire escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation.” (667) “The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.” (667) At the rise of the curtain, the audience is faced with the dark, grim rear wall of the wingate tenement.” (668) “This building, which runs parallel to the footlights, is flanked on both sides by dark, narrow alleys, which run into murky canyons of tangled clotheslines, garbage cans, and the sinister latticework of neighboring fire escape.” (668) At the end of...