NORWAY – A landmark collaboration of Oxford Hills businesses and organizations is supporting the upcoming performances of “The Glass Menagerie” by the Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association.

Several community events have been planned by OHMPAA to lend added dimension to the group’s production of the classic Tennessee Williams play, scheduled from April 18 to April 27.

The Norway Memorial Library, the Norway Historical Society, Books N Things, Café Nomad and the Norway Business Association are presenting The Menagerie Project, a series of events that celebrate the production.

Last month, the historical society, keeping in line with its philosophy of collecting tomorrow’s history today, celebrated the history of OHMPAA’s 51 shows in its almost 25-year history. On April 2, OHMPAA invited members of the public to meet with the actors, talk with them about the show and see them perform some scenes.

On Tuesday, April 8, Christopher Schario, artistic director of The Public Theatre in Lewiston, will deliver a talk about Tennessee Williams at 7 p.m. at the Norway Memorial Library. “Tennessee Williams is one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th century and one of the greatest American writers ever,” said Schario. “‘The Glass Menagerie’ is the quintessential Tennessee Williams play. Filled with passion, lyricism and an amazingly deft feel for character, this play examines the heart of the Depression generation’s frustrations and longing, just before the outbreak of World War II.”

Besides Schario’s lecture, Zhenya and Schelene Shevchenko from Galicia Glassworks in Gray will display their hand-blown, colorful glass animal figurines.

“I am impressed and pleased that so many organizations and businesses in Norway are coming together to participate in activities supporting OHMPAA,” said Anne Siekman, librarian.

Another event in “The Menagerie Project” is set for April 12 when Café Nomad in Norway will present “A Night of Jazz,” beginning at 7 p.m. Jazz from the 1930s is featured in “The Glass Menagerie. “

Up and down Main St., Norway businesses that belong to the Norway Business Association will feature displays related to “The Glass Menagerie” and The Menagerie Project.

The project represents the first time in OHMPAA’s history that organizations and businesses from the area have come together with financial support and encouragement for one specific production.

“I am awed by the scope of this project and can only hope that its success will lead to future collaborative projects,” said Elton Cole, a longtime OHMPAA officer and actor.

Books N Things (739-6200,) will sell tickets to the play and exhibit books by and about Tennessee Williams, including “The Glass Menagerie,” that may be purchased.

OHMPAA’s performances of “The Glass Menagerie” are evenings April 18-19, 24-26 with matinees April 20 and 26-27 at the Norway Grange Hall.

Anyone who participates in any of the above events will receive a $1-off coupon to a performance. For more information about The Menagerie Project, log on to www.norway.lib.me.us or www.ohmpaa.org, or call 743-5309.


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