MSU Undergraduate Students Bring “The Glass Menagerie” to the Arena Theatre


Promotional photo featuring Tim Hackbarth and Josh Denver

Tessa Kresch

Second Stage Productions, the fully student-run theatre company, is bringing the classic American drama, “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams to the MSU Arena Theatre every day Feb. 10-12.


Second Stage Productions is a production company created and run by MSU undergraduate theatre students. The club provides opportunities for students to gain experience in all aspects of the theatre, whether it is acting, directing, stage managing, designing or promoting. SSP provides students with a space to develop their skills as theatre artists and to build a show completely from the ground up. 


Senior Bachelor of Arts theatre major and President of SSP, Lane Straub, is directing “The Glass Menagerie.” Straub stated in an interview on Impact’s clubs and organizations podcast, Exposure, that this is her first time directing a play. 


Straub said that directing is an incredibly fulfilling process. SSP allows theatrical opportunities for students who do not typically receive them, “whether it’s because they aren’t in the theatre major or because they don’t feel like they’re represented enough on the main stages of MSU’s department of theatre.” 


If you have not already read it in school, “The Glass Menagerie” is a memory play written by the famous playwright, Tennessee Williams. The play is set in 1935 and follows the Wingfield family, which is composed of a frustrated mother, a daughter lost in her imagination and a rebellious son, who are all cramped in a St. Louis apartment.

Anna Yarnal and Camden Ferguson rehearsing

Straub describes the play as one of the best pieces of dramatic literature. “This play has been around for ages and there’s a reason why,” she said. “There are a lot of parts of it that are pretty outdated but the main part of family and reflection at its core is a theme that I think transcends time.”

Anna Yarnal, Josh Denver and Kamryn Sarratt during the first dress rehearsal


Straub is approaching “The Glass Menagerie” by “taking it back to its original roots and using the idea of plastic theatre rather than the resort to realism, in this case.” Straub describes plastic theatre as an abstract version of realism that exaggeratedly highlights the truth. 


Straub also refers to plastic theatre as “anti-realism because it’s more exaggerated compared to realism.” Using design elements such as lighting, sound, props and set, as well as a unique acting style, Straub is reinventing the play and connecting it to the 21st century.

Photo by Lane Straub: Anna Yarnal and Jordan Ivesaj rehearsing

Straub’s favorite part about the experience “is the cast and crew bond that we’ve created. I feel like the environment is ideal to me. It seems very collaborative and also positive. I am really proud of everyone on my team.” The special familial bond that has been established among the cast and crew shines through in the production of “The Glass Menagerie” intriguingly and uniquely.

Photo by Lane Straub: Josh Denver rehearsing his monologue

The cast features Tim Hackbarth (Bachelor of Fine Arts acting major) as Tom, Anna Yarnal (Bachelor of Fine Arts acting and broadcast journalism double major) as Laura, Kamryn Sarratt (Bachelor of Arts theatre and physiology double major) as Amanda, Josh Denver (Bachelor of Fine Arts acting senior) as the older Tom, Camden Ferguson (marketing major) as Jim and Jordan Ivesaj (communications major) as an understudy for Laura and Amanda. 


As a club, SSP not only produces plays, musicals and student-written work, but also consists of two other groups. These groups are After School Special and Second Stage Musical Theatre. 


To find out more about Second Stage Productions, listen to the most recent episode of Exposure, a podcast that offers insight into student clubs and organizations.


“The Glass Menagerie” will premiere on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Arena Theatre in the basement of the Auditorium. You can purchase tickets at the door for $10 apiece. Straub says, “If you want to support us, this is a great way to do it.”


You can find more information on Instagram @SecondStageMSU