Wednesday, January 26, 2011


For Immediate Release

Contact:  Jill Graziano Laiacona



MANASSAS, Va., Jan. 26, 2010 – The acclaimed Walnut Street Theatre brings one of the 20th century’s most important plays by one of America’s most talented playwrights to the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Merchant Hall stage on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 8 p.m.  The company’s gifted cast of actors bring to life a new production of “The Glass Menagerie” to mark the 100th anniversary of playwright Tennessee Williams’ birth. The production is directed by Bill Van Horn. A pre-performance discussion will be held one hour prior to the performance in the Hylton Center’s Buchanan Partners Art Gallery. Novant Health is the Grand Opening Season Sponsor of Hylton Presents at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

                              One of Tennessee Williams’ earliest successes, “The Glass Menagerie” was published in 1945.  The autobiographical memory play takes audiences to a working class St. Louis neighborhood to explore the strained family relationships among Tom Wingfield, a young man who works in a warehouse, but dreams of being a writer, and escapes his boredom by going to the movies; his sister, Laura, an insecure and sheltered young woman with a physical disability, who spends most of her time with her collection of little glass animals; and their mother, Amanda, a single mother who yearns for the days of her youth when she was a Southern belle, and wishes for Laura to find a suitor. The story develops amid the eternal conflict between the power of memory and the inescapability of reality. The play premiered in Chicago in 1944, and moved to Broadway in 1945, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It has been adapted into numerous film and television productions featuring such renowned actors as Kirk Douglas, Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen, Katharine Hepburn, Sam Waterston and Michael Moriarty.

                       Founded in 1809, Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre is America’s oldest continuously operating theater and its stages have been graced by some of America’s most legendary performers, including Ethel Barrymore, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Helen Hayes and Katharine Hepburn. The theater has housed a remarkably wide range of entertainment and national events, including opera, music, dance, live theater, circus, vaudeville, lectures, motion pictures and even the first televised Presidential Debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. In 1982, it returned to its origins as a producing theater under the internationally known producer, Bernard Havard, and it now boasts over 55,000 subscribers. Under his leadership, the Walnut established a strong commitment to artistic excellence and a dedication to developing American theater artists through its nationally known programs, including its highly regarded apprentice program. The Walnut Street Theatre has also received numerous awards for its artistic achievements, including the prestigious Barrymore and Carbonell Awards.


The Hylton Performing Arts Center is pleased to recognize

Novant Health as the Grand Opening Season Sponsor

of the 2010-11 Hylton Presents season.


This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered

by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.



Tickets for WALNUT STREET THEATRE’S production of “THE GLASS MENAGERIE” are $24, $32, $40. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit hyltoncenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit hyltoncenter.org.


About the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,140-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, is sure to quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of collaboration and commitment to the arts.


About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.


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