This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.
Tennessee Williams’ beloved “memory play,” “The Glass Menagerie,” has been performed all over the world. Now, this month, it opens in a place like no other: On the grounds of the St. Louis apartment building that helped inspire it.
As a boy, Williams (then known as Tom) moved to St. Louis with his family, living on Westminster Place in the city’s Central West End neighborhood for four years before moving to Enright Avenue in University City. Williams took details from both apartments in envisioning the home of the Wingfield family in the “Glass Menagerie,” describing their apartment building in the play as “one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population.”
The apartment building on Enright no longer exists. But 4633 Westminster Place remains a residential building, one that now holds a number of Airbnb units that draw on Williams’ fame. And now the building’s grounds will host the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis’ new production of “The Glass Menagerie,” with a stage assembled in its parking lot and the set as “an organic extension of the back of the building,” in the words of festival director Carrie Houk.
Houk added, “The actors are actually cocooning in some of the Airbnb units.”
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Carrie Houk joins us to discuss how this most unusual “The Glass Menagerie” came to be, and some of the complications in bringing it to life.
She’ll be joined by director Brian Hohlfeld.
What: “The Glass Menagerie”
When: Aug. 19 to 29, 2021
Where: 4633 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108
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“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Paola Rodriguez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.
Originally Appeared Here