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Oyster Mill Playhouse: The Glass Menagerie | REVIEW

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Hope reviews The Glass Menagerie at Oyster Mill Playhouse in Camp Hill.

One of my favorite things about central PA’s local theatre scene is how intimate the performances are. At smaller theatres, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of the story playing out on stage. And Oyster Mill Playhouse is exactly one of those places. With only four actors performing in its latest production, The Glass Menagerie, the experience between story and audience is seamless.

The Story

The classic story by Tennesee Williams follows the Wingfield family of 1930s St. Louis. Matriarch Amanda (Anne Marino), brother Tom (Graham Woods), and sister Laura (Megan Thomas) examine their strained relationships fraught with frustration, regret, and resentment.

Amanda is stuck in the past. She relives memories as a beautiful southern debutante to distract herself of the hardships brought on by her husband abandoning the family sixteen years earlier. Tom supports the family by working in a shoe warehouse. However, he feels trapped and dreams of traveling the world and writing. Laura hides behind her physical handicap, is debilitatingly shy, and finds solace through her glass collection.

Amanda wants nothing more than for Laura to find a man to marry and secure her future. But Laura’s anxiety and low self-esteem have rendered no prospects. After persistent begging from Amanda, Tom invites an employee from the warehouse to dinner, forcing the family to come to terms with its bleak reality.

The Glass Menagerie is a heartbreaking classic. Its themes of strained family relationships, escapism, and unfulfilled dreams stand the test of time.

Review of The Glass Menagerie at Oyster Mill Playhouse

This is the first time I’ve seen The Glass Menagerie and visited Oyster Mill Playhouse. I was blown away by the performance. Actors in musicals can hide behind glitzy costumes or boisterous song and dance numbers, but casts of smaller shows like this one are stripped down to their true talent. Every actor must be on point — and they are here — for the show to truly succeed. 

Marino is an incredible actor. Her version of Amanda commands the stage with poise yet desperation that gives explanation into Laura’s anxiety and Tom’s exasperation. Her performance is so raw and real, you almost forget she’s only playing a role and this isn’t her actual story. 

Anchored by Marino’s act, Woods, Thomas, and Matthew Golden, who plays gentleman caller Jim O’Connell, all hit the mark to bring the story to life. 

A special nod to director and producer Michael Hosler and his team for a beautiful set design and the brilliant use of lighting and music!

See the show

Oyster Mill Playhouse’s The Glass Menagerie runs through Sept. 25, with performances Sept. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25. Get tickets and showtimes here.

The 2022 season wraps up with The Laramie Project, running Nov. 4-20.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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