UAB production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ hopes to spark conversation with black cast

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB Department of Theatre is exploring themes of diversity and family through its latest production, “The Glass Menagerie.”

The play by Tennessee Williams tells the story of a white family, but to show the universality of some themes, like family dynamics, they’re shaking things up by casting a black family.

“Just to expand what we, who we include as the traditional family or the family that gets the most focus, especially in this country,” cast member Devin Franklin said. “And just focusing on the beauty that is the black family dynamic, because it’s something that’s not usually explored in more modern, contemporary theater. It tends to be more white-washed in a sense.”

“The Glass Menagerie” is an icon of the American theater. The drama originally debuted in 1944, but the cast and crew of this new production at UAB are hoping to reinvigorate the narrative with a different kind of family at the center of the story.

Cast member Cheryl Hall said she thinks the move highlights the depth of playwright Tennessee Williams.

“I think that it is a wonderful challenge for the audience and the community to do a little self-reflection and a little I think it’s also a great opportunity to put on this story in a much broader context,” Hall said.

The play runs through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and March 1 at 2 p.m. at the Sirote Theatre in the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

WATCH to hear from a cast member Devin Franklin.


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