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Dr. Phil McGraw, most popularly known as Dr. Phil, is a clinical psychologist who has become popular as a result of his television show, Dr. Phil. On the television show, guests come on with a variety of emotional and behavioral issues. These problems often involve groups of people like married couples or entire families and can include things such as bullying, suicide, family issues, and drug abuse, as well as many other topics. Dr. Phil invites families onto his show where episodes are grouped by specific topics and uses his experience as a psychologist to explore these problems and the reasons behind them in an attempt to educate the general population and to help the family arrive at a solution for their issues.
In this project, groups of 4-5 people will create and perform their own segment like the ones on Dr. Phil. Group members will take on the roles of the Wingfield family and of the psychologist attempting to help them identify and solve their personal and family issues. Specifically, groups will be assigned a topic and begin to think about how that topic relates to The Glass Menagerie. They will identify the roles of each character in terms of the topic of the show and create arguments that each character would make about their topic. Then, using their ideas, each group with develop an introduction similar to the ones that Dr. Phil provides at the beginning of each show presenting the topic of their segment and providing some background knowledge about why the Wingfield family is on the show that day. They will create a script for the show and, after deciding which group member will play each role, create a script for their performance.
Each script should be typed using a simple 12-point font (Calibri, Times New Roman, etc.). It should be double-spaced and have characters’ names in bold. Within their performance (and also in the script) each group should present the issue that the family is on the show for and the characters should all have something to say about that topic. Characters can present their “argument” and also have a chance to argue against the points that the other characters are making.

Episode Descriptions:

“The Return of an Absentee Parent…”

On this segment, Mr. Wingfield has returned home to his family and has faced a number of struggles about his role within his family. His son doesn’t respect him, his daughter behaves like a shy stranger, and his wife resents him for what he has put their family through. He wants to be a part of his family again and wants them to know that he had his reasons for living. He knows that they suffered and struggled while he was gone, but he would like their forgiveness and love. His family loves him, but they have their own problems and concerns about his return.

“Defiant Children”

On this episode, Amanda has had enough of her children’s disobedience. She thinks Tom is a no-good dreamer who has his head in the clouds and his mind in the gutter. She is afraid that he will follow the same path of his father and wants him, instead, to devote his time and energy to a “real job.” She wants him to assume the role of provider for their family and give up his hobbies that are a waste of time. Similar to her feelings about Tom, she wants Laura to start thinking about her future. She is fed up with Laura’s shyness and lack of ambition in planning for her life as a wife and mother. She would like her to devote more energy to her appearance and behavior so that she can attract a worthy husband. Most importantly, she wishes Laura could be more like her.

“Let Me Live!...”

This episode centers on Tom’s desire to be allowed to live his own life. He wants his mother to recognize that he is not like his father and allow him to follow his own dreams. He is sick of working in a meaningless job and would like to devote his energy to his writing. Although he loves his sister, he resents the way he feels like he has to take care of her and help his mother find a husband for her. He is fed up with being put down and would like his family to appreciate him and allow him to live his own life.

Impossible Expections…

On this segment, Laura expresses her frustration with the life that her mother wants her to lead. She knows that she has let her shyness prevent her from living a full life, but feels like her mother’s expectations of her are unreasonable. She doesn’t want to get married merely for the sake of getting married and would like to be allowed to do the things she likes to do. Although she has had crushes in the past, the lack of a father-figure in her life- and her mother’s subsequent feelings about “real men”- has left her with a skewed idea about men and about the institution of marriage. Most importantly, she does not want to be her mother!

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