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Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Glass Menagerie’ opens at the Panola Playhouse tonight in Sardis

A classic American play from one of Mississippi’s most famous writers will take the stage later this week at the Panola Playhouse.

“The Glass Menagerie” opens tonight and will have a week-long run in the Sardis-based theater.

Williams’ play tells the story of an overbearing mother (here played by local actress Judy Dillard Hindman) who’s behavior causes one of her children to develop a severe inferiority complex and one who wants to escape her. The latter child, Tom (Nathan Algee), is considered by many theater scholars to be a version of Williams himself.

Director Ryan Scott says the play has been “a great honor and privilege” to work on.

“(It’s) also a play that gives its executor’s a tremendous sense of duty in telling it well and staying true to the genius that was Mississippi’s own Tennessee Williams,” Scott added.

Despite its heavier subject matter, Scott says the play is ultimately about the love between family members.

“At the end of the day, it’s not a play about a dependent sister, a smothering mother, a toxic family dynamic, the Great Depression or any of that,” he said in email. “It’s a play about love – the truest and most painful kind of love – the love between members of a family. It’s about how an artist finds their voice, and how you can turn pain and guilt and memory into something beautiful. ‘The Glass Menagerie’ encourages us all to make art out of our suffering; to find beauty in our heartbreak.”

“The Glass Menagerie” opens at the Panola Playhouse tonight and will run through April 2. Curtains rise at 7 p.m. for night shows and at 2 p.m. for matinees on Sundays. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased online at www.panolaplayhouse.com.