Best Mother-Daughter Combo (Drama) - 2004
Magan Wiles and Diane Peterson in The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie chronicles the plight of a frustrated young son and brother whose immediate goal is to escape the confines of his drab St. Louis existence. (St. Louis, drab? Perish the thought!) For decades productions of The Glass Menagerie have been dominated by charismatic actresses like Katharine Hepburn, Maureen Stapleton and Joanne Woodward, whose showy interpretations of the valiant, domineering matriarch Amanda Wingfield overshadowed those of the children -- especially her fragile whisper of a daughter, Laura. But thanks to a fresh and original performance by Diane Peterson, whose weary Amanda was first and foremost a loving (and even reasonable) mother, the sensitive Stray Dog Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie allowed the gossamer Laura to take her place as the gentle fulcrum of the Wingfield family, as Magan Wiles' anguished portrayal transported audiences into a realm of aching pathos. Together Peterson and Wiles restored a sense of family to the American theater's definitive family drama.