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ETC prepares to present first summer play

ESSEX A classic American story will come to life this week, presented by the Essex Theatre Company.

Tennessee Williams drama, The Glass Menagerie, opens the summer season on July 6 at 7:30 p.m. A special meet the cast night is planned that evening at 6 p.m. at the Moose on the Loose Cafe. The evening costs an additional $5, and light refreshments will be served.

Directed by Essex resident Kathy Poppino, the story is a memory play about the lives of a dysfunctional Southern family: a mother who is a former belle, the crippled daughter whose life revolves around her glass menagerie, and the son, the narrator of the story, who is withdrawing from the family circle.

The play stars Kevin Cooper, Anne-Marie Holzhauer, Chelsea Hughes, and Spencer Mehr.

Its the first ETC outing for Hughes and Mehr, who both performed previously with local drama club. Mehr said he was enjoying the chance, since he enjoyed many of Williams plays.

Hughes said the performance was a challenge, since its her first time in a non-musical. Some people can connect to it really well theres a feeling of being suffocated in the play, said Hughes.

Cooper, who is cast as the narrator and son, said it was up to audiences to decide how accurate the narrators memories were. He said the interactions of the family were painful, yet cathartic when a conclusion was reached.

Holzhauer said part of the appeal of the play was that Williams had based it heavily on his family life.

Its a classic I think because even though its a drama, there are moments of laughter, said Holzhauer. It has something to tell about our lives and families.

Alyssa Carroll will be stage manager for ETCs The Glass Menagerie. Cynthia Poppino designed the sets, which she constructed with Jeremy Clifford. Jim Carroll is in charge of sound and lighting, and Edna Coonrod is the costumer. Owen Gibbs will serve as house manager, and Bill Poppino is production assistant.

Other performances are July 11 13 at 7:30 p.m.; July 7 and 14 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and July 8 and 15 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Tickets for ETC productions can be reserved by calling 524-7708 or by email to www.tickets@essextheatre.org

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