WBU theatre to put on The Glass Menagerie in Ruidoso


Lillie Cooper plays the role of Laura in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University theatre department will be heading to the mountains of New Mexico on June 7 to perform The Glass Menagerie at the Spencer Theater in Alto, near Ruidoso.

This is the eighth season that Wayland has performed at the Spencer. The one-night show will take place on June 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at spencertheater.com or by calling 1-888-818-7872 or 575-336-4800.

Written for stage in 1944, The Glass Menagerie propelled Tennessee Williams to stardom, making him one of America’s most successful playwrights. What is believed to be an autobiographical story, The Glass Menagerie is told from the point of view of Tom Wingfield who lives with his overbearing mother and handicapped sister. Tom’s alcoholic father has left the family. Laura, the sister, walks with a limp that clouds her self-perceptions, driving much of the drama of the piece.

Amanda has a heated discussion with her son Tom during a scene from Tenness Willisms' The Glass Menagerie.Dr. Marti Runnels, Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Director of Theatre at Wayland, said that while the play carries a very dramatic tone, it also has some lighter moments as well as a universal appeal to young people.

“Every generation since the play has been written knows what it is like to have parents who you don’t think are cool,” said Runnels who directs the production. “They are overbearing. They nag you about everything. Every generation has music and literature that the parents think is horrible and the kids think is great.”

Runnels said the play addresses how children and parents deal with differing views. Runnels said the play is also a strange sort of love story that deals with the insecurities of a girl who thinks she is hideous and her pending relationship with a boy on whom she has a crush.

“Suddenly, he comes over for dinner and she doesn’t even want to see him,” Runnels said.

The four-person play will feature a mixed cast with two WBU freshman and two alums taking the stage. Sarah Buckland, a veteran of the Wayland stage will play the mother, Amanda Wingfield. A Wayland alum, Buckland is continuing her studies and will soon move the Chicago to pursue a career in the performing arts.

Jake Miser, also a Wayland alum, plays the role of Tom. Miser has performed in many of Runnels productions and currently lives in Chicago.

Wayland freshman Lillie Cooper plays Laura and fellow freshman Cameron Conner plays the gentleman caller.