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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • High school drama entertains on the weekend

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  • METAMORA — The efforts of eight cast members and seven behind-the-scenes crew members came to life April 27 and 28 in “The Glass Menagerie” at Metamora Township High School.
    Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” was the fourth annual spring drama, according to Curt Rowden, who directed the play and designed the set. The script was a lot more challenging to memorize than in previous years because of a time crunch.
    “We literally had 28 calendar days to do this show,” he said.
    The cast consisted of two actors for each character in the play. One of the actors performed April 27 while the other went on stage April 28.
    Metamora Township High School junior Jackson Ward, who played Tom Wingfield, performed April 28. He agreed with Rowden that the script was a challenge to memorize in such little time.
    “It was a lot quicker to memorize lines than last year,” he said.
    Ward’s character, Wingfield, is the son of Amanda Wingfield. Set in the late 1930s, the play begins with Amanda, Tom and Laura Wingfield fending for themselves after the father left them for good.
    Tom is the one with the full-time job, who feels constantly pressured by the mother to provide for her and his sister. The pressure builds to a point where he nearly decides to leave toward the end of the play. But something in his heart tells him to stay.
    Meanwhile, the mother feels as though her daughter, Laura, has no ambition and needs to settle down with a nice young man. She attempted to enroll Laura into business school, but her daughter decides to drop out by not showing up to class after the first few days.
    Eventually, the mother convinced Tom to find a “gentleman caller” for Laura. Tom felt a man named Jim O’Connor, who works with Tom in a warehouse, would be just the right fit for Laura.
    What he did not know about O’Connor was his commitment to another woman. However, O’Connor’s role in Laura’s life is not squelched by this realization as he looks into her soul to find insecurity and feelings of inadequacy in comparison to the rest of the world.
    Lindsay Stephan, Metamora Township High School senior, played the mother April 28. Randee Blickenstaff, Metamora Township High School senior, played the daughter, and Adam Schmillen, Metamora Township High School senior, played Jim O’Connor April 28.
    Logan Frietag, senior, played the son; Amanda Hodges, senior, played the mother; Sarah Konecki, sophomore, played the daughter; and Tyler Smith, freshman, played O’Connor April 27.
    Both Blickenstaff and Stephan said they want to be in theater post-college. Stephan said she will go to Carthage College. She said she enjoys starring in comedies but will also want to be in some drama plays as well.
    Page 2 of 2 - “At first I wanted to do comedy, but because of my experience here, I want to do drama now too,” she said.
    Blickenstaff said she will go to Columbia for theater and wait until after she graduates to decide where she will perform and in what playsshe wants to participate. Blickenstaff said she also did not do a lot of drama before “The Glass Menagerie.”
    “I’m usually in more fun roles and this was the most serious one,” she said.
    Meanwhile, Ward said he will stick to theater as a hobby after he graduates from high school.
    “I’m more leaning toward math and science,” he said referring to his career path.
    Schmillen said he also does not see himself going to college to major in theater. He said he will start at Illinois Central College with an undeclared major.
    The performance by these students brought in about 30-35 people between April 27 and 28. Rowden said the spring drama tends not to attract such a large crowd.
    For information on school events, go to mths.metamora.k12.il.us or call 367-4151.

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