“The entire play is told from Tom's memory,” Enterline said. “But once he steps into the play's environment, everything is very different. He feels guilty that he wants more out of life but reliving those memories makes him realize that for the first time in his life, he decides to do something for himself. It's an illusion wrapped in reality.”
Jim was a star athlete in high school who now works with Tom at the shoe warehouse. When Jim is invited to have dinner with the Wingfields, he sees firsthand the family's idiosyncrasies but ends up sharing a poignant moment with Laura.
“Jim shows up into this home not knowing what to expect but he sees it as an opportunity to help Laura,” Lish said. “He decides to make her his little project. He had everything handed to him in high school but he has a lot of insecurities as well. He's a glass half full kind of guy.”
Amanda may well be a precursor to the character of Beverly Weston, the conflicted matriarch in Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “August: Osage County.”
“Amanda will scream, flail and bore her children to death with stories of the old South, but I think she'll always have hope and determination,” Hedman said. “She's a heroic woman. How does she do it? She just keeps going.
“But underneath the dreams and illusions, the day to day running of her family, Amanda has quite an undercurrent of desperation. If Tom leaves, she's going to have to find more ways to make money.
“He's the moneymaker and she's always afraid he's going to leave like her husband. In spite of her good qualities, Amanda is controlling. People will come up to me after the show and tell me Amanda is just like their mother. She uses melodrama as a tactic and she's an expert at it. ‘The Glass Menagerie' is a mother's melodrama so you do what you have to do.”
— Rick Rogers