Arts & Entertainment

Tennessee Williams classic comes to life March 5 at CBC

Tennessee Williams' classic tale The Glass Menagerie comes to the stage March 5 at the Performing Arts Center at Columbia Basin College.

The Glass Menagerie is a gloomy, yet tenderhearted tale about a family living in a small apartment.

There's Laura, a shy young woman who hides from society with her collection of glass animals. Then there's her Southern belle mother, who diligently searches for a suitable husband for her daughter.

But it's Laura's brother, Tom, who is perhaps the real lost soul. He does his best to support his mother and sister, but he also stews under the banality of his life and spends much of his spare time going to the movies.

The small cast allows a more intimate setting for the production in CBC's theater in the round.

Tom is portrayed by John Manley, with Laura portrayed by Mari Cannon and Chance Rush as the one gentleman caller.

Brenda Hubbard is a special guest performer playing Amanda, the mother.

Director Ginny Quinley says it was kismet that brought Hubbard to town to portray Amanda. Hubbard is well known around the Northwest for her stunning portrayals with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Quinley said.

"Last fall when the decision was made to add Glass Menagerie to our season, I received an e-mail from Brenda asking if we might be doing any projects during winter quarter that could use her as an actor," Quinley said. "I thought, WOW!, this is perfect. Our students learn so much from guest artists and they've already learned a ton from Brenda."

Hubbard is a professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg when she isn't traipsing around the Northwest portraying various characters.

There was an incident, however, that brought Hubbard to her knees -- literally -- and nearly prevented her from fulfilling her role as Amanda. She slipped on some wet pavement a few weeks ago and tore some ligaments in her knee, but with some help she's managing.

"The challenges are many as we had to reblock certain sections of the play to accommodate my not being able to carry a tray up and down stairs as I gimp along," Hubbard said. "But luckily I am able to continue working with this wonderful group of actors and portraying one of those roles of a lifetime!"

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;