The Glass Menagerie

The digitalization and transformation of a memory play.

Screen Shot 2023-02-14 at 6 36 45 PM

Picture from Blue Ridge Botanic.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. This adaptation of the 1945 play, including scenes 1, 2, and 3. It is performed and narrated by Montgomery Clift as Tom. Julie Harris plays Laura, Jessica Tandy as Amanda, and David Wayne as Jim. Directed by Howard Sackler for Caedmon Records. Supported by The Theatre Recording Society and produced in 1964. This piece will include the transcription, to the best of my abilities, and commentary, which is labeled in green. The transcription of the play's timestamps are going to be a little bit off, but overall the purpose for them is more to be in the general area as well as letting the viewer have the words in front of them as well as through the audio. The purpose of this piece will be to provide an example of an adaptation that exercises its transformation through digitalization as well as becomes a creation of its own.

Time Annotation Layer
0:00 - 0:01 Act 1, Scene 1 begins Scene
8:24 - 8:33 Act 1, Scene 2 begins Scene
18:18 - 18:19 Act 1, Scene 3 begins Scene
0:02 - 0:18 TOM: I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. Transcription
0:19 - 0:45 TOM: To begin with, I turn bark time. I reverse it to that quaint period, the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy. Transcription
0:45 - 1:08 TOM: In Spain there was revolution. Here there was only shouting and confusion. In Spain there was Guernica. Here there were disturbances of labour, sometimes pretty violent, in otherwise peaceful cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, Saint Louis. . . .This is the social background of the play. Transcription
1:08 - 2:37 TOM: The play is memory. Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic. In memory everything seems to happen to music. That explains the fiddle in the wings. I am the narrator of the play, and also a character in it. The other characters are my mother Amanda, my sister Laura and a gentleman caller who appears in the final scenes. He is the most realistic character in the play, being an emissary from a world of reality that we were somehow set apart from. But since I have a poet's weakness for symbols, I am using this character also as a symbol; he is the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for. There is a fifth character in the play who doesn't appear except in this larger-thanlife-size photograph over the mantel. This is our father who left us a long time ago.He was a telephone man who fell in love with long distances; he gave up his job with the telephone company and skipped the light fantastic out of town. . . .The last we heard of him was a picture postcard from Mazatlan, on the Pacific coast of Mexico, containing a message of two words - 'Hello - Good-bye!' and no address.I think the rest of the play will explain itself ... Transcription
2:39 - 2:42 AMANDA: Tom? Tom? Transcription
2:42 - 2:43 TOM: Yes, Mother? Transcription
2:43 - 2:46 AMANDA: We can't say grace until you come to the table! Transcription
2:46 - 2:47 TOM: I'm coming. Transcription
2:55 - 2:60 AMANDA: For these and all thy mercies, God's holy name we praise. You know, Laura, I had the funniest experience in Church last Sunday. The Church was crowded except for one pew way down in front, and in that, was just one little woman. I smiled very sweetly at her and I said, 'Excuse me, but would you mind if I share this pew?' 'I certainly would,' she said, 'This space is rented.' Do you know, that's the first time I ever knew that the Lord rented space. Transcription
3:04 - 3:30 AMANDA: Tom, honey, don't push with your fingers. If you have to push with something, the thing to push with is a crust of bread. And chew !chew! Animals have sections in their stomachs which enable them to digest food without mastication, but human beings are supposed to chew their food before they swallow it down. Eat food leisurely, son, and really enjoy it. A well-cooked meal has lots of delicate flavours that have to be held in the mouth for appreciation. So chew your food and give your salivary glands a chance to function! Transcription
3:31 - 4:03 TOM: Mother, I haven't enjoyed one bite of this dinner because of your constant directions on how to eat it. It's you that makes me rush through meals with your hawk-like attention to every bite I take. Sickening - spoils my appetite - all this discussion of - animals' secretion - salivary glands - mastication! Transcription
4:03 - 4:22 AMANDA: Temperament like a Metropolitan star! You're not excused from the table. Transcription
4:22 - 4:27 TOM: I'm getting a cigarette. Transcription
4:27 - 4:28 AMANDA: You smoke too much. Transcription
4:28 - 4:29 LAURA: I'll bring in the coffee. Transcription
4:29 - 4:31 AMANDA: No, sister, no, sister - you be the lady this time and I'll be the darkey. Transcription
4:31 - 4:34 LAURA: I'm already up. Transcription
4:34 - 4:35 AMANDA: Resume your seat, little sister, I want you to stay fresh and pretty for gentleman callers! Transcription
4:35 - 4:40 LAURA: I'm not expecting any gentleman callers. Transcription
4:41 - 4:43 AMANDA: Sometimes they come when they are least expected! Why, I remember one Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain - Transcription
4:43 - 4:50 TOM: I know what's coming. Transcription
4:51 - 4:52 LAURA: Yes. But let her tell it. She loves to tell it. Transcription
4:52 - 4:57 AMANDA: One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain, your mother received seventeen! gentlemen callers! Why, sometimes there weren't chairs enough to accommodate them all. We had to send the colored boy over to bring in folding chairs from the parish house. Transcription
4:57 - 5:12 TOM: How did you entertain those gentleman callers? Transcription
5:12 - 5:15 AMANDA: I understood the art of conversation! Transcription
5:15 - 5:17 TOM: I bet you could talk. Transcription
5:18 - 5:19 AMANDA: Girls in those days knew how to talk, I can tell you. Transcription
5:19 - 5:36 AMANDA: They knew how to entertain their gentlemen callers. It wasn't enough for a girl to be possessed of a pretty face and a graceful figure although I wasn't slighted in either respect. She also needed to have a nimble wit and a tongue to meet all occasions. Transcription
5:37 - 5:38 TOM: What did you talk about? Transcription
5:38 - 5:44 AMANDA: Things of importance going on in the world ! Never anything coarse or common or vulgar. Transcription
5:44 - 5:54 AMANDA: My callers were gentleman -all! Among my callers were some of the most prominent young planters of the Mississippi Delta - planters and sons of planters! Transcription
5:55 - 6:11 AMANDA: There was young Champ Laughlin who later became vice-president of the Delta Planters Bank. Hadley Stevenson who was drowned in Moon Lake and left his widow one hundred and fifty thousand in Government bonds. Transcription
6:11 - 6:53 AMANDA: There were the Cutrere brothers, Wesley and Bates. Bates was one of my bright particular beaux! He got in a quarrel with that wild Wainwright boy. They shot it out on the floor of Moon Lake Casino. Bates was shot through the stomach. Died in the ambulance on his way to Memphis. His widow was also well provided for, came into eight or ten thousand acres, that's all. She married him on the rebound - never loved her - carried my picture on him the night he died !And there was that boy that every girl in the Delta had set her cap for! That beautiful, brilliant young Fitzhugh boy from Greene County! Transcription
6:53 - 6:54 TOM: What did he leave his widow? Transcription
6:54 - 6:60 AMANDA: He never married ! Gracious, you talk as though all of my old admirers had turned up their toes to the daisies ! Transcription
6:60 - 7:03 TOM: Isn't this the first you've mentioned that still survives ? Transcription
7:03 - 7:24 AMANDA: That Fitzhugh boy went North and made a fortune - came to be known as the Wolf of Wall Street! He had the Midas touch, whatever he touched turned to gold! And I could have been Mrs Duncan J. Fitzhugh, mind you! But what did I do- I just went out of my way and picked your father ! Transcription
7:24 - 7:26 LAURA: Mother, let me clear the table. Transcription
7:26 - 7:40 AMANDA: No, dear, you go in front and study your typewriter chart. Or practise your shorthand a little. Stay fresh and pretty! It's almost time for our gentlemen callers to start arriving. How many do you suppose we're going to entertain this afternoon? Transcription
7:40 - 7:43 LAURA: I don't believe we're going to receive any, Mother. Transcription
7:43 - 7:47 AMANDA: What? Not one - not one? You must be joking! Transcription
7:47 - 7:54 AMANDA: Not one gentleman caller? It can't be true ! There must be a flood, there must have been a tornado! Transcription
7:55 - 8:08 LAURA: It isn't a flood, it's not a tornado, Mother. I'm just not popular like you were in Blue Mountain. ... Mother's afraid I'm going to be an old maid. Transcription
8:51 - 8:54 LAURA: Hello, Mother, I was - Transcription
8:54 - 8:59 AMANDA: Deception ? Deception ? Transcription
9:03 - 9:18 LAURA: How was the DAR. meeting? Didn't you go to the DAR. meeting, Mother? Transcription
9:18 - 9:35 AMANDA [faintly, almost inaudibly]: - No. - No. I did not have the strength - to go to the DAR. In fact, I did not have the courage! I wanted to find a hole in the ground and hide myself in it for ever ! Transcription
9:40 - 9:44 LAURA: Why did you do that, Mother? Why are you ?? Transcription
9:44 - 9:50 AMANDA: Why? Why? How old are you, Laura? Transcription
9:50 - 9:52 LAURA: Mother, you know my age. Transcription
9:52 - 10:01 AMANDA: I thought that you were an adult; it seems that I was mistaken. Transcription
10:01 - 10:06 LAURA: Please don't stare at me, Mother. Transcription
10:06 - 10:14 AMANDA: What are we going to do, what is going to become of us, what is the future? Transcription
10:15 - 10:23 LAURA: Has something happened, Mother? Mother, has - something happened? Transcription
10:23 - 10:31 AMANDA: I'll be all right in a minute, I'm just bewildered - by life. ... Transcription
10:32 - 10:35 LAURA: Mother, I wish that you would tell me what's happened! Transcription
10:36 - 10:52 AMANDA: As you know, I was supposed to be inducted into my office at the D.A.R. this afternoon. But I stopped off at Rubicam's business college to speak to your teachers about your having a cold and ask them what progress they thought you were making down there. Transcription
10:52 - 10:53 LAURA: Oh.... Transcription
10:53 - 12:36 AMANDA: I went to the typing instructor and introduced myself as your mother. She didn't know who you were. Wingfield, she said. We don't have any such student enrolled at the school! I assured her she did, that you had been going to classes since early in January. 'I wonder,' she said, 'if you could be talking about that terribly shy little girl who dropped out of school after only a few days' attendance?' 'No,' I said, 'Laura, my daughter, has been going to school every day for the past six weeks !' 'Excuse me,' she said. She took the attendance book out and there was your name, unmistakably printed, and all the dates you were absent until they decided that you had dropped out of school. I still said, 'No, there must have been some mistake I There must have been some mix-up in the records !' And she said, 'No - I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shook so that she couldn't hit the right keys ! The first time we gave a speed-test, she broke down completely - was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash-room! After that morning she never showed up any more. We phoned the house but never got any answer' -while I was working at Famous and Barr, I suppose, demonstrating those - Oh! I felt so weak I could barely keep on my feet ! I had to sit down while they got me a glass of water ! Fifty dollars' tuition, all of our plans - my hopes and ambition for you - just gone up the spout, just gone up the spout like that. Oh, don't do that, Laura, don't play that victrola. Transcription
12:36 - 12:38 LAURA: Oh I Transcription
12:42 - 12:47 AMANDA: Laura? Laura, where have you been going when you've gone on pretending that you were going to business college ? Transcription
12:47 - 12:48 LAURA: I've just been going out walking. Transcription
12:49 - 12:50 AMANDA: That's not true. Transcription
12:50 - 12:54 LAURA: It is. I just went walking. Transcription
12:54 - 13:05 AMANDA: Walking? Walking? In winter? Deliberately courting pneumonia in that light coat? Where did you walk to, Laura? Transcription
13:05 - 13:10 LAURA: All sorts of places - mostly in the park. Transcription
13:11 - 13:13 AMANDA: Even after you'd started catching that cold? Transcription
13:14 - 13:22 LAURA: It was the lesser of two evils, Mother. I couldn't go back up. I threw up -on the floor ! Transcription
13:22 - 13:31 AMANDA: From half past seven till after five every day you mean to tell me you walked around in the park, because you wanted to make me think that you were still going to Rubicam's Business College? Transcription
13:31 - 13:37 LAURA: It wasn't as bad as it sounds. I went inside places to get warmed up Transcription
13:37 - 13:38 AMANDA: Inside where? Transcription
13:38 - 13:60 LAURA: I went in the art museum and the bird-houses at the Zoo. I visited the penguins every day! Sometimes I did without lunch and went to the movies. Lately I've been spending most of my afternoons in the jewel-box, that big glass-house where they raise the tropical flowers. Transcription
14:01 - 14:05 AMANDA: You did all this to deceive me, just for deception? Why? Transcription
14:06 - 14:14 LAURA: Mother, when you're disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus' mother in the museum ! Transcription
14:14 - 14:14 AMANDA: Hush ! Transcription
14:15 - 14:16 LAURA: I couldn't face it. Transcription
14:20 - 15:48 AMANDA: So what are we going to do the rest of our lives? Stay home and watch the parades go by? Amuse ourselves with the glass menagerie, darling? Eternally play those worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of him? We won't have a business career - we've given that up because it gave us nervous indigestion ! What is there left but dependency all our lives? I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy a position. I've seen such pitiful cases in the South - barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister's husband or brother's wife ! - stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room - encouraged by one in-law to visit another - little birdlike women without any nest - eating the crust of humility all their life ! Is that the future that we've mapped out for ourselves? I swear it's the only alternative I can think of ! It isn't a very pleasant alternative, is it? Of course - some girls do marry! Haven't you ever liked some boy? Transcription
15:48 - 15:54 LAURA: Yes. I liked one once. I came across his picture a while ago. Transcription
15:54 - 15:55 AMANDA: He gave you his picture? Transcription
15:55 - 15:57 LAURA: No, it's in the year-book. Transcription
15:57 - 15:59 AMANDA: Oh - a high-school boy. Transcription
15:59 - 16:08 LAURA: Yes. His name was Jim. Here he is in The Pirates of Penzance. Transcription
16:08 - 16:09 AMANDA: The what? Transcription
16:09 - 16:25 LAURA: The operetta the senior class put on. He had a wonderful voice and we sat across the aisle from each other Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the Aud. Here he is with the silver cup for debating !See his grin? Transcription
16:26 - 16:28 AMANDA: He must have had a jolly disposition. Transcription
16:29 - 16:33 LAURA: He used to call me - Blue Roses. Transcription
16:33 - 16:35 AMANDA: Why did he call you such a name as that? Transcription
16:35 - 17:18 LAURA: When I had that attack of pleurosis - he asked me what was the matter when I came back. I Said pleurosis he thought that I said Blue Roses ! So that's what he always called me after that. Whenever he saw me, he'd holler, 'Hello, Blue Roses ! I didn't care for the girl that he went out with. Emily Meisenbach. Emily was the best-dressed girl at school. She never struck me, though, as being sincere. . . . It says in the Personal Section - they're engaged. That's a long time ago. They must be married by now. Transcription
17:18 - 17:27 AMANDA: Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man. Sister, that's what you'll do ! Transcription
17:29 - 17:29 LAURA: But, Mother Transcription
17:30 - 17:30 AMANDA: Yes ? Transcription
17:31 - 17:33 LAURA: I'm - crippled ! Transcription
17:33 - 17:59 AMANDA: Nonsense ! Laura, I've told you never, never to use that word. Why, you're not crippled, you just have a little defect - hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it - develop charm - and vivacity and - charm! That's all you have to do ! One thing your father had plenty of - was charm! Transcription
18:20 - 18:40 TOM: After the fiasco at Rubicam's Business College, the idea of getting a gentleman caller for Laura began to play a more and more important part in Mother's calculations. It became an obsession. Like some archetype of the universal unconscious, the image of the gentleman caller haunted our small apartment. ... Transcription
18:41 - 19:36 TOM: Even when he wasn't mentioned, his presence hung in Mother's preoccupied look and in my sister's frightened, apologetic manner - hung like a sentence passed upon the Wingfields ! Mother was a woman of action as well as words. She began to take logical steps in the planned direction. Late that winter and in the early spring - realizing that extra money would be needed to properly feather the nest and plume the bird - she conducted a vigorous campaign on the- telephone, roping in subscribers to one of those magazines for matrons called The Home-maker's Companion, the type of journal that features the serialized , sublimations of ladies of letters who think in terms of eyes like wood-smoke in autumn, fingers that soothe and caress like strains of music, bodies as powerful as Etruscan sculpture. Transcription
19:38 - 20:51 AMANDA: Ida Scott? This is Amanda Wingfield! We missed you at the D.A.R. meeting last Monday! I said to myself: She's probably suffering with that sinus condition ! How is that sinus condition? Horrors ! Heaven have mercy !- You're a Christian martyr, yes, that's what you are, a Christian martyr ! Well, I just have happened to notice that your subscription to the Companion's about to expire! Yes, it expires with the next issue, honey !- just when that wonderful new serial by Bessie Mae Hopper is getting off to such an exciting start. Oh, honey, it's something that you can't miss !You remember how 'Gone With the Wind' took everybody by storm? You simply couldn't go out if you hadn't read it. All everybody talked was Scarlet O'Hara. Well, this is a book that critics already compare to Gone With the Wind. It's the 'Gone With the Wind' of the post-World War generation! - What? -Burning !- Oh, honey, don't let them burn, go take a look in the oven and I'll hold- Heavens - I think she's hung up ! ... Oh, Tom! Tom, do you know what she did? She hung up on me. Transcription
20:51 - 20:54 LAURA: Mother, Mother! Tom's trying to write! Transcription
20:54 - 21:01 AMANDA: Oh? So he is... So he is! Why can't you sit up straight? Transcription
21:01 - 21:06 TOM: Mother! Please go busy yourself with something else. I'm trying to write Transcription
21:06 - 21:12 AMANDA: Now, I've seen a medical chart. And I know what that position does to your internal organs! Now you sit up and I'll shoo! Transcription
21:12 - 21:13 TOM: What in Christ's name am ! Transcription
21:13 - 21:14 AMANDA: Don't you use that - Transcription
21:13 - 21:14 TOM: Supposed to do ! Transcription
21:14 - 21:16 AMANDA: Tone with me !Not in my - Transcription
21:15 - 21:15 TOM: Ohhh! ! Transcription
21:16 - 21:18 AMANDA: House ! What's the matter with you? Have you gone out of your senses? Transcription
21:18 - 21:21 TOM: I have, that's true, driven out ! Transcription
21:21 - 21:23 AMANDA: What is the matter with you, you - big - big IDIOT ! Transcription
21:23 - 21:26 TOM: Look !- I've got no thing, no single thing ! Transcription
21:26 - 21:27 AMANDA: Lower Your Voice ! Transcription
21:27 - 21:29 TOM: In my life here that I can call my OWN ! Transcription
21:29 - 21:30 AMANDA: Stop that shouting ! Transcription
21:30 - 21:33 TOM: Yesterday you confiscated my books ! You had the nerve - Transcription
21:33 - 21:48 AMANDA: I took that horrible novel back to the library- yes ! That hideous book by that insane Mr. Lawrence. I cannot control the output of diseased minds or people who cater to them - BUT I WON'T ALLOW SUCH FILTH BROUGHT INTO MY HOUSE ! NO, no, no, no, no ! Transcription
21:48 - 21:52 TOM: My house, my house ! Who pays rent on it, who makes a slave of himself to - Transcription
21:52 - 21:53 AMANDA: Don't you DARE to - Transcription
21:54 - 21:57 TOM: No, no, I mustn't say anything ! I've just got to keep quiet- Transcription
21:57 - 21:58 AMANDA: Let me tell you - Transcription
21:58 - 21:59 TOM: I don't want to hear any more! Transcription
21:59 - 21:60 AMANDA: You will hear more, you - Transcription
21:60 - 22:02 TOM: No, I won' t hear more, I'm going out ! Transcription
22:02 - 22:03 AMANDA: You come right back in - Transcription
22:03 - 22:03 TOM: Out! Transcription
22:03 - 22:06 AMANDA: Come back here, Tom Wingfield ! I'm not through talking to you ! Transcription
22:06 - 22:07 TOM: Oh, go - Transcription
22:07 - 22:08 LAURA: Tom ! Transcription
22:08 - 22:12 AMANDA: You're going to listen, and no more insolence from you ! I'm at the end of my patience ! Transcription
22:12 - 22:25 TOM: What do you think I'm at the end of? Aren't I supposed to have any patience to reach the end of, Mother? I know, I know. It seems unimportant to you, what I'm doing - and what I want to do - having a slight difference between them !You don't think - Transcription
22:25 - 22:54 AMANDA: I think you've been doing things that you're ashamed of. That's why you act like this. I don't believe that you go every night to the movies every night. Nobody goes to the movies night after night. Nobody in their right mind goes to the movies as often as you pretend to. People don't go to the movies at nearly midnight, and movies don't let out at two a.m. Come in stumbling. Muttering to yourself like a maniac! You get three hours' sleep and then go to work. Oh, I can picture the way you're doing down there. Moping, doping, because you're in no condition. Transcription
22:54 - 22:56 TOM: No, I'm in no condition ! Transcription
22:56 - 23:02 AMANDA: What right have you got to jeopardize your job - jeopardize the security of us all? How do you think we'd manage if you were - Transcription
23:02 - 23:49 TOM: Listen !You think I'm crazy about the warehouse? You think I'm in love with the Continental Shoemakers? You think I want to spend fifty- five years down there in that - celotex interior! Look! I'd rather somebody picked up a crowbar and battered out my brains - than go back mornings! But I go ! Every time you come in yelling……… that God damn 'Rise and Shine!'- 'Rise and Shine!' I say to myself, 'How lucky dead people are ! 'But I get up. I go! For sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self - selfs' all I ever think of. Why, listen, if self is what I thought of, Mother, I'd be where he is -G O N E ! As far as the system of transportation reaches ! Don't grab at me, Mother ! Transcription
23:49 - 23:51 AMANDA: I'm not grabbing at you, I just wanna know where are you going? Transcription
23:51 - 23:52 TOM: I'm going to the movies! Transcription
23:52 - 23:54 AMANDA: I don't believe that lie ! Transcription
23:54 - 24:55 TOM: No? Well, you're right. For once in your life you're right. I'm going to opium dens ! Yes, opium dens, dens of vice and criminals' hang-outs, Mother. I've joined the Hogan gang, I'm a hired assassin, I carry a tommy-gun in a violin case! I run a string of cathouses in the Valley! They call me Killer, Killer Wingfield, I'm leading a double-life, a simple, honest warehouse worker by day, by night a dynamic tsar of the underworld, Mother. I go to gambling casinos, I spin away fortunes on the roulette table ! I wear a patch over one eye and a false moustache, sometimes I put on green whiskers. On those occasions they call me -El Diablo ! Oh, I could tell you things to make you sleepless ! My enemies plan to dynamite this place. They're going to blow us all sky-high some night ! And will I be glad, and so will you ! You'll go up, up on a broomstick, over Blue Mountain with seventeen gentlemen callers! You ugly - babbling old - witch. Transcription
24:55 - 24:57 LAURA: Oh! Help! My glass ! - menagerie. . . . Transcription
24:58 - 25:06 AMANDA: I won't speak to you - until you apologize ! Transcription
25:09 - 25:13 TOM: I'm sorry, Laura. I'm sorry. Transcription
0:01 - 0:01 An important thing to keep in mind is that the original play by Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie premiered in Chicago in 1944 was intended to be performed on stage with a live and physical audience. As the speech begins, it is important to recognize that now, sound is the only sense that we are given, so something that was both auditory and visual is now constrained to just audio. Commentary
2:39 - 2:40 Here is the first line beyond the perfect transcription of the introduction by Tom, and we already see how, in performance, actors often make many changes to their lines through improvisation, poor memory, or other factors. There is already a question of translation from audio-visual to plainly audio like mentioned before, but now we have to also pay attention to the fact that versions of the play, even if performed on radio with script, can be adapted and changed by the creators of the performance or the actors themselves. Commentary
2:46 - 2:47 This is another example of a change, as the original play had the word "Coming, Mother" as well as an indicator of the movement of the actor that states "He bows slightly and withdraws, a few moments later in his place at the table". This movement is now seen through the sounds of footsteps, though our imagination takes much more authority in regards to the table itself, the outline of the house, or even where each person is sitting. An interesting aspect of this is that in many parts of the South, where Williams' works are usually in critique or response to, or even just where they happen to be located, the men of the family sit at the ends of tables. How does this change our perception of this family, especially audiences not from the South? Commentary
2:55 - 3:04 Here we have a complete addition to the play, as the transcription above is not found in the original screenplay. This emphasizes the creators of this performance feeling as though it is necessary to perhaps make up for the lack of visual components of the play and to fluff it with more conversation. This also adds a layer of that Southern feeling that was lost with my earlier comment on the table etiquette. Commentary
3:06 - 3:09 We can also hear the clanging of the forks to allow our imagination’s authorship. This point reminds me of Linda Hutcheon's discussion of how sometimes these adaptations are intended to be consumed with their originals in mind. This can complicate many things, especially like additions we saw right before because if this was truly intended to have your memory of watching the physical play, why not get more vague or mystical instead of more specific? Commentary
1:08 - 1:10 A memory play is what Tennessee Williams describes as how he is intending on being closer to truth through his art. He believes that the "photographic likeness" of the realistic plays emphasize what is unimportant in art: truth. So, this play is meant to be like the narrator's memory of these events, which is also why it happens to be semi-autobiographical. Williams is a character, narrator, director, and writer through himself and Tom. Commentary
4:29 - 4:30 Due to its time and place, there are also sentiments of racism within the play. In some renditions of the script there also includes more derogatory language towards Black people. Commentary
3:31 - 3:32 We can hear the silverware hit the plate, but an interesting note in the original script is that the fork is called imaginary. This could mean many things, considering the scene itself is technically imaginary according to Tom as it is a memory, but it could also be an interpretation, as other points in the script there aren't strict distinctions like saying Tom sits at the imaginary table. Commentary
4:03 - 4:05 Another example of how the use of sound to indicate movement. Commentary
4:41 - 4:42 Amanda leaving the room is indicated through her disappearing voice. It would've made Tom and Laura's conversation awkward if the audience assumed that Amanda was in the same room. Commentary
4:45 - 4:46 Another change of words in the updated version due to the intensity of racist language used. How can this transformation of art into the digital or virtual world also be an attempt to erase their problematic past? Commentary
5:19 - 5:20 Between the above and below lines, the original play also had an image of Amanda as a young girl greeting those callers, but this was obviously much harder for the radio broadcast to include, so they either had hoped that the reference did enough work or relied heavily on Hutcheon's idea that the audience would be merely extending their understanding of the play from their previous interaction with it. Commentary
5:39 - 5:41 This is the beginning of the omission of a very integral idea that Williams had in mind in his vision for the play. The play itself played with reality and time as an attempt to uncover truth. To me, this reminds me of Gilles Deleuze on the Crystal-Image, as we were meant to envision a seemingly crystalized version of Tom's memory in an attempt to fully understand the concept that Williams was attempting to convey. Commentary
5:40 - 5:42 Within this scene, Tom is meant to be reading the script of the play and pointing the crew to change the lights and highlight Amanda's place in the scene. However, we are only able to hear the conversation that Amanda and Tom are having together. This creates a very easy argument for critics of digital art and art's digitalization as a complete destruction of Williams' play, however, in light of Williams using what I believe Deleuze to be talking about mentioned in the commentary above, I will now cite Hutcheon again in her belief of this adaptation as a creation of its own as well as an extension of the original. It is quite apparent to us that the creator's of this play would know very well that the original Williams play had these integral conceptual pieces to them, and in their exclusion of them, are highlighting the role of dialogue and conversation through this broadcast. This allows us to see the masterworking of dialogue that Williams created on top of these visual or conceptual scenes of the original. Commentary
7:47 - 7:48 Within the original script, there was a note here to show Laura going off to the portiere and having a bright light shine on her, but it was left out and Amanda's next line was smushed into her previous one. Commentary
10:14 - 10:15 There was supposed to be a count of ten between the line above and below me, so there is also a question of how art through its digitalization can also be victim to the growing perils of money and bureaucracy. Commentary
12:38 - 12:40 The last sentence of Amanda's line above that ends in "don't play that victrola" were additions made by the actress, Jessica Tandy, and is an example of the difference between this act of individuality by the actor in radio versions of the play versus the original. In the radio version, it can be either pre recorded and edited to be very intentional through this addition, which would be very different than original renditions of the play on, say, Broadway, or they can be in the rush of the moment, which would be very similar to the reality of acting in a play like the original. Commentary
13:15 - 13:20 In the middle of Laura's line above, there was originally meant to be another image displayed that depicted Laura in the park. This ability to use imagery within the original play, again, being lost. Commentary
13:16 - 13:20 This also removed a certain atmosphere for the chaotic and broken style of production that Williams was intending through the memory play. I would also be curious to see how Deleuze would view these images. As they remind me of his understanding of montage and part of the Movement-Image. Commentary
14:16 - 14:19 In between the above and below lines, in the original there were notes for a legend that writes "the crust of humility." Commentary
15:59 - 16:00 The image of "Jim as a high-school hero bearing a silver cup" was meant to display. Commentary
16:33 - 16:34 An image of blue roses appeared in the original play in between the above and below lines. Commentary
16:33 - 16:34 This image is a bit different from the others as it completely shows us the visual of a blue roses, even though the reality of blue roses was that it was a misinterpretation of her iIlness. This can play into some of Williams' ideas of how memory works and how imagery plays a role in memory. The question to me becomes is the imagery for the audience to have this visual battle in their minds before they realize why he really calls her Blue Roses or is it more to represent how he visualizes it when remembering? Commentary
17:59 - 18:01 What is left out from the original, again, in the same way an omission of the control that Tom has in his memory play, was that Tom was meant to wave to the fiddle to sign that it was time to play. Commentary
18:37 - 18:38 Image of the young man was also meant to be shown during this monologue. Commentary
18:38 - 18:39 Giving us a better idea about how this image is still, as he continues to say, haunting him in this memory. This allows us to make a better decision about the earlier images including that of the Blue Roses. Commentary
20:45 - 20:47 This is an example of how digitalization of these processes can also result in errors or mistakes, as you can hear her sentence being cut off. She was meant to say "I'll hold the wire." Just like in this project, having so many external factors can make it hard to tune out every issue and curate everything perfectly. This is another argument seen against the digitalization of great artworks; it's just too much work! Commentary
21:12 - 21:13 Before we see Tom speak, there is a note in the original Broadway script that mentions that there was meant to be a light shining on Laura throughout this scene that seems to highlight how when Tom remembers this experience, he continues to focus on how Laura reacts or feels. Commentary
21:12 - 21:13 This note was not referenced or made-up immediately after in the radio broadcasting. Commentary
20:54 - 20:54 The line above and below are not included in the original script, and seems to be making up for the fact that, in the original, there was a faint arguing between Tom and Amanda that starts the scene off, whereas in a couple of seconds is when the argument emerges for this version. Commentary
21:48 - 21:50 The radio broadcast also chose to change the language from "house, house!" to "My house, my house!" to emphasize the point, even though the rest of the line about questioning who pays the rent was still in the original. Commentary
22:02 - 22:03 In the original, there is also a production note that says that the upstate area is "lit with a turgid smokey red glow" to resemble the growing anger and exemplify it through the poetic imagination of Tom's memory. Commentary
22:02 - 22:03 There is also an included note about Amanda's appearance in Mr. Wingfeild's clothes, as well as how both Amanda's and Tom's shadows appear projected onto the ceiling in the fiery glow. Commentary
23:45 - 23:48 When mentioning him, there is an integral piece of visual information that the original play and script had that isn't possible through this radio broadcast: Tom pointing at his father on the mantle. It is implied in some ways, if you can remember that Mr. Wingfield is on the mantle and that he had died, but other than that, it requires a good amount of context clues. Commentary
23:46 - 23:48 Whether or not this was intentional is worth looking into, but again could be connected to Hutcheon's idea of already knowing the story. Having it in your memory as well. Commentary
24:54 - 24:55 In the original, there was meant to be moments after he calls Amanda a witch where he stumbles and ultimately hits the glass menagerie, but as you can hear, he hits and breaks the glass menagerie before he even calls her a witch. This seems to be an intentional change and time-saving effort of the radio broadcast to make the scene and communication of the broken glass efficient to people listening on the radio. Commentary
25:09 - 25:10 One of the most interesting changes we see in this adaptation of the play is that Tom is originally supposed to be stunned stupidly by his mistake in destroying Laura's glass menagerie, and the script mentions that he looks at Laura as if to speak, yet he couldn't. However, in this broadcast, they decided that he would apologize, even if it sounds like his apology doesn't make him feel better. There seems to be quite a different level of meaning behind and development of the characters through this, and in some ways it could argue the perversion of Williams' play, but on another hand, it could be an argument for its own authorship and creation. Commentary

VII. The Glass Menagerie at Internet Archive.

IIIF manifest: