Pushing Limits

Cripping “The Glass Menagerie” with Phoebe Fico

Phoebe Fico, a disabled woman, is playing one of the classic disability theatrical roles, that of Laura in Tennessee Williams, “The Glass Menagerie.”  The production by Cal Shakes utilizes a multi-racial cast to portray the conflicts of this thinly-veiled autobiography set during Williams’ younger years.

A disability activist and poet as well as an actor, Phoebe Fico will discuss the disability implications of the role as well as its relevance to family life today.

“The Glass Menagerie” is the story of Williams’ conflict between the need to care for his sister and his desire to move into the larger world. It became his breakthrough play. After Williams left home, his sister was lobotomized and lived in an institution for the rest of her life. What might have happened if he had stayed?

Williams was white but this refreshing multi-racial cast forces us to consider these questions as they play out in communities of color.

We talk to Phoebe Fico about these and other issues, and have a chance to hear some of her poetry.

“The Glass Menagerie” is in its final weeks at the beautiful outdoor Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda, California. It plays every day except Monday through July 30 with a generous sprinkling of matinee performances. For tickets and other information, go to www.calshakes.org

Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby

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