American classic in true form at Lake Dillon |

American classic in true form at Lake Dillon

Leslie Brefeld
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

DILLON ” Gary Ketzenbarger, director of the Lake Dillon Theatre’s latest production, is able to draw on memories from his father, and his generation, for the making of “The Glass Menagerie,” set in the 1930s, which opened Friday in Dillon.

He described his father’s desire for adventure during the Depression as relating closely to the character of Tom, who also seeks more from life.

Through a deceivingly simple story of one family’s dynamics, themes of escape, survival and denial are expressed in this classic work by the American playwright Tennessee Williams.

The set itself, with its unnaturally angled floors and white-on-white background, set the wispy mode for the memory play, or told through the brother’s memories.

Both Shelby Newley, who plays the sister Laura, and Phil Rohrbacher, who plays the gentleman caller Jim, reverse their own personalities to play their roles.

In her first local production, Newley, who describes herself as an extrovert, said she taps into her insecurities and fears to play the painfully shy character.

And Rohrbacher plays the outgoing and optimistic Jim, whose character “talks a lot more than me.”

The mother and brother, played by Kelly Ketzenbarger and Josh Blanchard respectively, share the challenge of playing complicated characters.

“She’s got so many different motivations and emotions going on, sometimes in the same minute,” Ketzenbarger said of her character Amanda.

And Blanchard’s Tom moves back and forth from a present-day perspective as the narrator ” to his role in the memories themselves.

It’s all set to a moving music of cello and piano, which are heard during moments of Laura’s anguish.

Although it’s one of the most expensive plays artistic director Chris Alleman’s ever produced at the theater ” due to its need for things like a Victrola, and other period furniture ” he says it’s worth it to put on such a high caliber piece of art.

Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or

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