The Glass Menagerie: memory and guilt - Game Script


Background

Alex D. Rector is a young Theater director, about to direct "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. You are the actors and she wants to work with you as a team: to think together about the play and Tom's character.

Alex's main question is: Should Tom feel guilty?

Should he give up his dreams and stay at home with Amanda and Laura?

Was Tom right to abandon Amanda and Laura in order to fulfill his dream?

Help Alex and join the discussion. You will find in your resources consuming background. Read it and share others.

Let's start ... Alex's success is the success of all of you ...

Characters

Amanda Wingfield The mother of Tom and Loura

Amanda is the mother of Tom and Laura. She is a strong and dominant woman: life had taught her that only the strong survive.

Caught between the past and the present, she is well aware that her family’s situation is dire. She sees Tom as the primary breadwinner of the home. She and Laura need him in order to survive.

Since she was reliving her own life, she failed to understand the different personalities that her children possessed and ended up driving Tom away from home.


Your Task

Amanda, You are a stubborn and determined woman. Once you set yourself a goal You will fight tenaciously to achieve it. You will do anything: Prettify reality, coquette, push and work hard.

Your daughter Laura is a fragile girl. If you won't fight for her she will never get marry. You must convince Tom to stay with you and take care of Laura. Otherwise he will be the one to blame!


Resources

Scene - 01

Tom Wingfield Amanda's son and the brother of Laura

Tom is a young man with a poetic soul,(He writes poetry secretly) who works in a  shoe warehouse in order to support his family. His father abandoned his family, leaving it without a breadwinner.

Amanda, his dominant mother expects him to take care of Laura, his fragile young sister and ensure proper marry to her. Only then Tom can leave home.

Tom's main conflict: Should he take care for Laura and his mother and thus give up his dreams, or should he leave but feel guilty?


Your Task

Tom,

You are a young man – a free spirit and a creative person - but you're trapped in your family duties. You love your sister and you want to protect her from the harsh world. But you must also think about yourself. You must follow your dreams! Don't blame yourself!


Resources

Scene - 01

Laura Wingfield Tom's sister

Laura is an extremely shy and sensitive persona wit a slight physical defect — a limp. Her disability made her frightened and nervous, living in her own world - a world of -little glass ornaments. She is completely dependent on her mother and brother.

She falls in love with Jim, and for a short time she seems to be like everybody else. When she finds out he's engaged to a woman he love -it breaks her heart.  


Your Task

Laura, like a Unicorn, you are gentle and fragile. You are affected by Tom's moods and his quarrels with Amanda – it undermines your world!

You want Tom to fulfill his dreams, and you are ready to sacrifice yourself for that. Tom has to go! He doesn't need to feel guilty…!


Resources

Scene - 01

Jim O'Connor Tom's friend and Laura's "Gentleman caller"

Jim is an old friend of Tom and Laura. He was a popular athlete in high school and is now a shipping clerk at the shoe warehouse in which Tom works. He is ambitious and devoted to goals of professional achievement and ideals of personal success.


Your Task

Jim, you are very engrossed in yourself, you frequently analyze psychologically Laura and tell her how she need to behave. You think that's what a man should do! If her heart is broken, you are not to blame ... your intentions were good ...

You think Tom should leave home. A man must take care of himself. H doesn't need to feel guilty at all ...


Resources

Scene - 01

Alex D. Rector A theater director

Alex is a young and a talented theater director who graduate theater studies. After a few years of amateur theater work, this is her first play up on the professional stage. "The Glass Menagerie" is her favorite play (She once played as Laura!).

Alex thinks that the director should work in collaboration with his actors and consider them a Thinking Group.


Your Task

Alex, You're not shure what to think: On one hand, If Tom will abandon Amanda and Laura it might break them down. On the other hand, If he will stay – he will be the one who breaks down… in any case, he might feel guilty…

You're asking the actors' team to help you decide!


Resources

Scene - 01

Scene 1: memory and guilt



1.

Public Message

Dear Directing Team

The play will be on stage in a month and you already started rehearsing. Your first mission is to help Tom to design his character.

Do you think Tom should feel guilty for abandon his family, just like his father did?

Why?

Please share your thought with the others.   



2.

Private (Shortly After previous message)

Amanda Wingfield:

Amanda! Of course Tom should feel guilty! You expect him to act like a man and take care of his sister!

Instead he runs away and escapes the tough reality. He rather wondering in the world and writes poems and plays

Tom Wingfield:

Tom,

Life is hard… Amanda, your mother and Laura, your sister are depended on you. You want to be free, to fulfil your dreams and talents. You don't want to spend your life as a gray clerk…  It is your right to strive for better life!

You don't have to feel guilty about it!

Try to explain your feelings to the others… Read your final monolog to find some Arguments

Laura Wingfield:

Laura,

You don't think Tom is guilty. Maybe you are the one to blame because you are so sensitive and fragile. You don't want Tom to give up his ambitions for you.

The only problem is that you are afraid you won't be able to manage by yourself…  

Try to explain your feelings to the others…

Jim O'Connor:

Jim,

In your opinion, Tom doesn't need to feel guilty at all. The real problem is the Great Depression in America – the economic situation is so bad that he must take care of himself.

Read about the Great Depression and then try to convince the others…

Alex D. Rector:

Alex,

Each member of your team presents a different opinion. What is your personal opinion? Does Tom have to feel guilty?

Read what Tom says to Amanda. Do you find it convincing? Try to explain it to the others…



3.

Public Message (Shortly After previous message)

Read what your friends write - it might interest you ... Do not forget to comment and mark a Like!



Vote

Do you think Tom should feel guilty of Amanda and Laura's condition? 



Option 1
Tom should feel guilty
Option 2
Tom should not feel guilty


Ending message for when most people voted for option



Option 1

You think Tom should feel guilty about abandoning his mother and sister


Option 2

You think Tom should feel guilty - he followed his dream...




Discussion Points

  1. People say "If there is no sacrifice – there is no guilt". Do you think it's true?
  2. How much can the Great Depression to be blamed in Tom's and his family's condition?
  3. What is the symbolic role of the Unicorn of Laura in Tom's memories and his guilt feelings?