Book Notes Stage Direction Notes from The Glass Menagerie

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The Glass Menagerie Stage Direction

The Wingfield apartment faces an alley, and the fire escape is the entrance. The landing and the stairs descending from the fire escape are visible to the audience and the interior of the ground floor apartment is visible through a transparent curtain that acts as a fourth wall to the room. The room closest to the audience is the living room with a fold-out couch, an old fashion whatnot with a collection of tiny glass animals, and an enlarged picture of a smiling man in a World War I doughboy hat. The picture hangs on the back wall of the living room just to the left of the dining room entrance. There is also a typewriter keyboard chart and a shorthand diagram hanging next to the picture, above a typewriter that sits on a stand against the wall. The dining room, which is where the first scene begins, is behind a second transparent curtain.

In each scene, various images and captions are projected from behind onto a wall between the living room and dining room. The wall itself is indistinguishable from the rest of the room when not lit with the projector. These images and phrases are used to emphasize the important parts of each scene so that the weight of the objects doesn't encumber the dialogue of the play. Music is also used to give emotional emphasis to certain actions and moments throughout the play. The tune that plays is a recurring one, faintly heard during the relevant parts as if it's on the breeze, dissipating with shifts in the wind's direction. The tune is delicate, lovely, and somewhat sad. It carries with it the feeling of the precariousness of delicately spun glass: beautiful and easily broken. It is Laura's music and plays clearest when she, or the fragility of glass, which is her image, is the play's focus. The lighting is an important tool in the presentation of the play; the stage is dimly lit, and bright light focuses on Tom, the narrator, or another character, only when they are presenting an important memory to the audience.

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