South Eugene Theater’s winter season recently ended with the productions The Glass Menagerie and Our Country’s Good. Both were portrayed incredibly and the directors and actors authentically and accurately brought the characters to life.
The Glass Menagerie is a play written by Tennessee Williams. It ran from Feb. 11-14 in the Little Theater. Directed by senior Jay Marks, the storyline follows the life of an aspiring actor, Tom (played by junior Simon Luedtke), who must provide for his mother, Amanda (senior Caroline West), and his crippled sister, Laura (freshman Emma Mowry), after their drunken father abandons them. Amanda wants nothing more than success and love for her daughter, so she pushes Tom to bring home a “gentleman caller” (junior Sage Siepert) for Laura. Unfortunately, Amanda’s best intentions backfire, and Tom follows his father’s path, leaving his mother and his sister behind. This gloomy ending mirrors the modernist era, when the play was written, in which the overall theme is that life is not perfect and there are rarely happy endings.
From Feb. 19-21 and Feb. 26-28, Our Country’s Good, written by Timberlake Wertenbaker and directed by Pat Avery, played in the South Eugene Auditorium. The play is set in 1789, after Great Britain’s loss in the Revolutionary War. At the time, Great Britain was suffering from severe urban poverty, and crime rates skyrocketed. Because of the increased number of convicts, jails were overflowing. To fix this problem, Great Britain sent their convicts to Australia, which was deemed by Grace Brunson in the production’s program as “wild and untamable.” The play follows the harsh lives of these prisoners and their search for life meaning.
Enter Lt. Ralph Clark (senior Joey Carlson). Clark often dreams of home in England, and he is somewhat resentful of his post as guardsmen of convicts. However, he thinks of the idea to put on a play, the comedy The Recruiting Officer, with the prisoners as actors. Through the process of learning lines and how to collaborate with others, the audience’s initial opinion of the convicts as dirty and cruel changes to an attitude of sympathy.
The winter season was a great success with amazing performances by all of the actors and intelligent guidance from the directors. The 2015 Spring season will open with Don’t Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti on April 29. The play, which will be directed by Charlie Henry, will run through May 2 in the Little Theater. Distracted, written by Lisa Loomer and directed by Pat Avery will be performed in the South Eugene Auditorium from May 7-9 and May 14, 15, and 17. Finally, From Up Here, written by Liz Flahive and directed by Sophie Kreitzberg, will run from May 20-23 in the Little Theater.
If you missed the winter season, be sure to check out the awesome plays coming up this spring.