Set in St. Louis in the years before the beginning of WWII, The Glass Menagerie examines the sometimes complex relationships within families and how they simultaneously tear us apart and pull us together.

The fifth and final production of Bluff City Theater’s 2017 season, dedicated to the theme of Families, will open on July 20. Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece of modern theater, The Glass Menagerie, launched his career as a playwright and made him a household name. Set in St. Louis in the years before the beginning of WWII, The Glass Menagerie examines the sometimes complex relationships within families and how they simultaneously tear us apart and pull us together.

Tom, an aspiring writer, feels trapped in his Depression-era existence, working at a menial factory job and longing to run away from his histrionic mother who conferred the man-of-the-house role to her son when their father abandoned his wife and small children years before. Tom feels responsible for his handicapped sister, Laura, and believes he cannot leave until he finds someone to look after her. That leads him to invite a colleague from work home to meet Laura and things seem to be going well, until they aren’t.

The Glass Menagerie is as sensitive and raw a piece of theater as ever written and it stands the test of time because of the universal themes it examines — our youthful struggle to escape the bonds of family, our fear of becoming our parents and the mysterious power of the past to shape our future.

New York-based director Sydnie Grosberg Ronga makes her Bluff City Theater debut along with a stellar cast including St. Louis native Laurie McConnell as Amanda, Antonio Rodriguez as Tom, Betsy Bowman as Laura and newcomer Michael Ferguson as Jim, the gentleman caller.

According to BCT Executive Director Joe Anderson, “The Glass Menagerie is a play I never tire of seeing. We all studied it in school but it is only when you see it brought to life on the stage that the depth of ideas, emotions and pathos become clear.”

The Glass Menagerie opens in preview on July 20 and runs until July 29. For complete information and to order tickets, go to www.eventshannibal.com or call the box office. Tickets are $26 for adults, $15 for 14 and under or 4 for $95.

Bluff City Theater is located at 212 Broadway, Hannibal. For more information, call 573-719-3226.