By Jennifer Phillips & Michael O Daly
UPPER BURRELL, Pa. – Penn State New Kensington was host to an outstanding performance of “The Glass Menagerie” at the campus Forum Theater Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. The cast delighted audiences during the three-day performance of this play written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Bill Mitas, the theater instructor at PSNK. The play takes you along a touching story about an impoverished family with an oppressive, single mother whose husband left her to struggle, caring for the 2 children alone.
Sophomore Chris Capo was the narrator and frustrated son, Tom Wingfield, who works to help the family but feels unappreciated for everything he provides. Capo was commanding in his role as Tom, who fights to take the reins of his own life.
Kylee Danko, a first-year student at PSNK, played Laura Wingfield, the introverted sister of Tom. Danko brought credibility to the part of the timid sister who is struggling to find her place in the world. She delivered subtle emotions as her character braved this turbulent family.
Pamela Farneth, an experienced actress who has starred in a number of productions, played Amanda Wingfield, the mother that needs to plan for the future but is forever tied to her past. Farneth delivered a very powerful, animated performance that captivated the audience and made them laugh.
Josh Milan was very comfortable returning to the role of Jim O’Connor, the radiant gentleman caller who bursts into the gloomy lives of the Wingfield’s. He played the character with vivid energy, sweeping the shadow away before him.
The set created so much space on the stage, and the lighting controlled the space, keeping you riveted to the story as the rest of the set melted into darkness. The music and sound tied perfectly to each moment.
Everything came together for a fantastic fall show at Penn State New Kensington. The cast and crew brought to life a family facing tough times together. With amazing performances like this, the musical planned for spring will be a treat when it arrives.