When looking at some of the newer examples of the Director's Notebooks that were submitted to the IB, it was obvious that they included a lot ore details that I had previously been aware of. I already knew that my first draft of my Director's Notebook wasn't the best, but after looking at the submitted examples, it sort of gave me the push that I needed to revise and perfect my Director's notebook. Some of the elements that I knew I really needed to add to, and just generally beef up, were my intended impact, the context, design of characters, and development scenes. For the context I'm going to research more on the gender roles that were apparent during the Great Depression to further understand the family dynamics of the Wingfields. For character design, I'm going to look for more inspiration specifically for costume because I had already come up with their own characteristics and color schemes. To aid with how I would direct two scenes, I'm going to try an idea that I saw in one of the example Director's Notebooks where a student actually included pictures of a script that they annotated to give a physical representation of the scene development. Lastly for my intended impact, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do to strengthen it and will probably be the last part I do so I can make sure that I fill in any missing information or ideas that I might have left out in other areas.
From personal experience, I definitely had to try thinking in a different state of mind, because I haven’t grown up in the Midwest, in the 40’s, in a poor unfortunate family. I constantly felt tied to each of the characters and just felt so bad for what they were going through and what issues they had to deal with. It’s always different reading a play for a second time knowing what the ending will be, so I looked for different telling signs that led up to Tom leaving.
Analysis of the text
1) The Glass Menagerie is the story of a broken family who doesn’t know how to properly care for each other resulting in the destruction of multiple relationships.
2) The Glass Menagerie is about each person’s needs and how they must learn how to prioritize their needs over others.
− Amanda Wingfield
− Tom Wingfield
− Laura Wingfield
− Jim O’Connor
− Mr. Wingfield
− Wingfield apartment in St. Louis
− Tom’s Monologues
• Facts, deductions, questions
− Fact: Amanda is Tom and Laura’s mother
− Fact: Laura and Tom went to school with Jim
− Deduction: Laura is crippled and very shy
− Fact: Tom works at a shoe warehouse and wants to be a poet
− Fact: Amanda, a southern belle, used to be a debutant and was married to Mr. Wingfield
− Deduction: Amanda resents her children and wants to be young again
− Fact: Mr. Wingfield left his family
− Fact: Tom is the provider of the family
− Deduction: Tom wants to leave his family
− Question: Why did Mr. Wingfield leave?
− Question: What other experiences has Tom faced, leading him to want to leave his family?
- Question: Is Laura really crippled?
• Central Ideas
− A memory play based on instances and not direct events; the idea that our mind sees only what we want to see or can remember
− How much a traumatic situation can affect one’s being and those they love. How we can only care for others so much until it’s so physically and emotionally taxing that we can take it no longer.
• Genre, style
− Memory play, drama, told in a series of flashbacks
Scene I: The scene in which the characters are established and what their relationships with each other are.
Scene II: The scene in which Amanda decides that the only way for Laura to be successful is by marrying to a wealthy successful man.
Scene III: The scene in which Tom fights and with Amanda and leaves.
Scene IV: The scene in which Tom returns back home and we see how Amanda is desperate to keep Tom from leaving the same way his father did.
Scene V: The scene in which Tom finds a gentleman caller for Laura from his mother’s request.
Scene VI: The scene in which the dinner party occurs and when Laura learns that the gentleman caller is her high school crush, Jim.
Scene VII: The scene in which Jim and Laura reminisce over their high school years and they kiss, Jim realizing what he’s done leaves soon after remembering that he is engaged. Amanda accuses of Tom of knowing of Jim’s engagement being the last straw causing the Tom to leave Laura and Amanda for good.
For me, The Glass Menagerie is about family conflict and how it affects a person’s actions and decisions and their view of their family. I think it was written in order to examine familial priorities through the representation of Tennessee William’s life.
a) Most of Tennessee William’s plays were based on personal experiences and his unhappy childhood. His father was an alcoholic. Williams won many prizes for his writing during his high school years. Williams attended University of Missouri where he was later pulled out by his father and forced to work at a shoe company. His distain for the job led him to write even more. He left the job and eventually went on to Washington University and then University of Iowa where he received a degree in English.
b) Set in the 1940’s in St. Louis. St. Louis was recovering from the Great Depression with large unemployment rates as well as experience vast racism because of WWII. One of the biggest producers of ammunition for WWII was in St. Louis. St. Louis experienced an extreme sense of rationing. Many protests for civil rights took place, some succeeding. Many advancements in architecture were made. The population was on a slow decline. This period of the time was known as ‘Urban Decline and Renewal’.
d) The Glass Menagerie was one of Tennessee Williams’ first big plays that went to Broadway and was loved by many. Many say that it’s easy to see the personal connection that Williams has with his plays.
e) It’s a memory play based on Williams’ life and his own experiences with his family. The play portrays the anger and hurt that Williams felt due to his family’s actions. It shows Williams’ resentment towards his family and how one makes rather significant decisions regarding their family.
f) Tom Wingfield – somewhat of a drunk, his way of coping with his family
Laura Wingfield – an outcast, described as peculiar, also said to be crippled but we don’t know if this fact is true or if it was an idea imbedded into her mind by her mother in order to keep her from leaving
Amanda Wingfield – used to being the young, popular girl, wanting to relive her youth, desperate
g) 1940’s in the Wingfield’s apartment in St. Louis
h) Drama, memory-play
j) Different types of music used during distinct situation, for example “the glass menagerie music”, different visuals projected whether it be phrases or pictures regarding the scene at hand
Plays I’ve Read
Within our last week of work leading up to our performance, we've been really trying to work out the kinks in our piece. We've been constantly editing and re-editing our script as well as the blocking involved. We've been working around with the concept of now having characters for everyone and trying to encapture them without losing who each person is real life. We want to try to make each character real and relatable. With all of the reframing of the piece, specifically with blocking, it's definitely added another challenge specifically to my job. I've been having to remap and replot which lights happen when for the moments because even a character's slightest movement will affect what lights I can use to get the right affect. We'll really have to hunker down and refine this piece even more, but I know we'll be able to it.
Several weeks ago, the students in the IB Theater class were given the opportunity of seeing ArtsWest production of Peter and the Starcatchers. I initially didn't know what to expect because I had known the basic premis of the story but was excited to see the full story and how it was interpreted. The Theater itself was very small and had only few rows of seats surrounding three sides of the main stage. The actors would also act within inbetween the rows of seats and interacted with the audience the entire time. One of the elements that I really enjoyed was how all of the sound and music in the show was made on stage by a member of the cast, so it was all more organic and realistic. Each of the characters were incredible and so well-developed, that I was amazed to hear that the cast was made of professional actors, as well as college and high school students. Within the script there were jokes created by the cast relating to current events that had each of us curling over in hysterics. One of the things that I loved the most was how even though it was a children's story, it's made for all audiences and can be enjoyed by all.
In the week before winter break, we watched our video of our performance and had a lot of realizations and had to make a lot of decisions. We noticed that each of our scenes between characters were not cohesive enough and that thee element of time had been very ascued, so we eventually decided to have each character enter and be on stage individually, that we would have everyone be on stage the entire time. We also wanted to working on cleaning up our moments, to make them more precise and easily understandable. One of the other big elements that had to get changed was the aspect of not having someone to run the lights, who understands the lightboard and what needs to happen in the way that I mapped and planned them out. So this led us to taking my character out entirely so I could focus on lights, to make sure everything runs smoothly and also take care of sounds cues as well. Initially, it seemed like all of these revisions were going to be to tasking and that we wouldn't have enough time, but we eventually realized that they were all very necessary to make sure that our piece is the best it can be.
Two weeks prior to going on winter break, we chose to film our piece before our main performance so we could see how our piece appears and look at elements we might want to change. So in prep for video taping the piece, we worked on solidfy and adding more elements to the set including things to pack in boxes, the radio, the projector, the glass box that shatters, and other pieces to help dress the set. We had a difficult time when some of our members were sick or not present for devising so we had to make som conscious decision without them for the time being. When we lacked a majority of the group we chose to work on our own person things that need to get finalized for the video taping. With having the pressure just of the video taping alone, we wanted to make sure we were cohesive as a group and that our message is properly portrayed through our piece.
Within the last our group really wanted to working solidifying physical elements whether it be the set our ourselves as actors. We typed up all of our solidified nostalgia moments and for my job specifically, I typed up the entire light cue sheet including levels and which lights go up according to who is and isn't on stage. We also tried to incorporate more props and elements into the set itself by adding boxes, a makeshift bed, as well as other pieces that can be packed into the boxes since our main container is one of us moving out of our childhood home. After that we tried running different parts as much as we could to figure out what emotions we are trying to portray and if it will be easy for our audience to interpret them.