News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 3/11/04
      HAMMOND -- As part of the annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, Southeastern Louisiana University is co-sponsoring a production of Williams' acclaimed play, “The Glass Menagerie.” Before moving to its festival venue in New Orleans, the play will be performed at 7 p.m. March 18 at Southeastern’s Vonnie Borden Theatre.
      Tickets -- $10 general admission and $5 senior citizens, Southeastern faculty and staff and non-Southeastern students -- may be purchased though the theater box office in D Vickers Hall, 985-549-2115, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the performance. Admission is free for Southeastern students, with university I.D.
      “The Glass Menagerie” is a collaborative partnership between Southeastern’s department of English, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the festival. Directed by Perry Martin, it is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
      The first play to establish Tennessee Williams as a major new playwright and Broadway success, “The Glass Menagerie” is a compelling story of a St. Louis family struggling to cope with the harsh realities of the Great Depression and the bitter memories that haunt them.
      Revealed in flashback, the play follows the lives of shoe factory worker Tom, who is torn between his role as the family breadwinner and the desire to lead a life of his own; his abrasive mother Amanda, once a grand Southern socialite, now trying to maintain her dignity amidst the gloom of the tenement; and Tom’s frail sister Laura, who has retreated to an imaginary world caring for her collection of glass animals. 
      As tensions mount and tempers flare, the prospect of a husband for Laura becomes their final chance for stability and escape. But this gentleman caller’s arrival could also deal a powerful blow that shatters their tenuous dreams. The poignant drama illustrates the family's gradual disintegration, under pressure both from outside and within.
      Southeastern is a long-time sponsor of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, an annual five-day celebration scheduled this year for March 24-28. The festival showcases national and regional scholars, writers, and performing artists with programs that include panel discussions, theatrical performances, a one-act play competition, lectures, literary walking tours, musical performances, and a book fair. 
      The festival opens with a series of master classes by leading authors, agents, and editors, sponsored by Southeastern and the Historic New Orleans Collection. University faculty and students participate in many of the festival programs. 
      Among the writers showcased this year is Southeastern writer-in-residence Timothy Gautreaux, who will be a panelist for the session “Truth is Stranger Than...” at 10 a.m. March 28, at Le Petit Theatre. Gautreaux’s work has appeared in “Harper's,” “The Atlantic Monthly,” “GQ,” and “Zoetrope,” as well as the O. Henry and Best American short-story annuals. His first novel, “The Next Step in the Dance,” won the 1999 Southeastern Booksellers Award, and he has also published two collections of short fiction. 
      In the session on Sunday, Gautreaux and fellow novelists Louis Edwards and Robert Morgan will talk with historian Mark Fernandez about the strategy of setting their works in the past: why they do it, how important accuracy is to their purposes, and the uses and misuses of history in fiction. 
      For additional information about the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, visit the festival’s website,