Glass City (2008)

Glass City 2008tt1316052.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Glass City (2008)
  • Rate: 3.6/10 total 21 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Runtime: USA:117 min (approx.)
  • Budget: $40,000(estimated)
  • Director: Cole Simon
  • Stars: Scott Douglas Wilson, Kiana Harris and Sarah Katz
  • Original Music By: Vytas Nagisetty   
  • Soundtrack: Down and Gone (The Blue Song)
  • Plot Keyword: Theatre | Death Of A Salesman | Toledo | Ohio | Glass City

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • John Klein  writer
  • Cole Simon 

Known Trivia

    Plot: A middle-aged man, dissatisfied with his life, finds redemption and inspiration in a rag-tag theatre company. Full summary »  »

    Story: Mike Stegman is turning 30, living in Toledo and going nowhere. He's worked at the same Laundromat for 10 years, he has few friends to speak of, his relationship with his family is on the rocks, and the book he never finished lies dormant on his computer desk. At the request of his estranged sister Sarah, Mike hesitantly joins up with an amateur theatre company for their summer production of Death of a Salesman. Over the course of the summer, Mike is transformed, coming out of his emotional shell and developing new friendships and a relationship with the young, spunky tech director Emma Swanson, a girl nine years his junior. The film follows Mike on a summer journey of self-discovery and forgiveness, as he realizes that the city and people he's come to loathe may just save him in ways he never could have expected.Written by John Klein  


    Synopsis: Mike, tired and discombobulated, wakes up, goes through his mundane morning routine, however quirky, and checks his messages. There are two: one from his sister Sarah asking to meet him for lunch later, and one from his mother inviting him to a family gathering later that week. He presses delete and heads off.

    On the way to work, the radio DJ reads off the weather on this gorgeously scalding Friday; its a record-setting heat day, and his air-conditioning refuses to work. Construction on I-475 has backed up traffic from the split to Airport Highway, and as a result he is late for work. He calls Sarah, sweaty and disorganized, and schedules a lunch time.

    At the Laundromat where he works as a manager, the air-conditioning also doesnt work. He spends his down time watching videos on YouTube from the company computer, which promptly crashes from the heat at 12:20pm. He is seething.

    He arrives late to lunch, obviously. Sarah is waiting, unsurprised but still irritated, even if she is happy to see her brother. She handily guesses his excuse, which happens to be true. She slides him a flyer for the theater company she belongs to, a charity group called Glass City Players. She asks him to audition its his favorite show, hes amazingly talented, and they could spend more time together. He says no. She asks him to be on crew, to spend time with her and to exercise his creative muscles again. His bitterness makes clear that he hasnt taken well to never finishing his book or to people reminding him of his 20,000-word fiasco. He agrees, if only to appease her.

    Moments at work show Mike perpetually bored, eyeing a photo of he and his once-pregnant ex-girlfriend. No explanation is given, but he seems morose. He finally comes home and crashes on his bed.

    Waking up at noon the next day, Mike realizes he is absurdly late for his family gathering and rushes to get ready. While eating there, his mother, Nancy, asks him how Claire, his ex-girlfriend, is doing. He doesnt know, and the question shakes him up. Sarah tries to cover for him and brings up the play, in which she just received a role. Nancy asks Mike what hes still doing around town, and he responds with the usual charisma and sarcasm.

    Mike drives to a spot underneath the Hi-Level Bridge and vents his frustrations to a lonely dashboard. Eying the audition flyer, he makes his decision.

    Mike arrives at the first meeting of the cast and crew from Glass City, a happy occasion, a reunion of old friends and a chance for the newbies to acquaint themselves with the history of the five-year-old charity company, headed by director and recent college graduate Ethan Dremlan. Mikes head is elsewhere, as is fellow cast member John Ember, but he keeps turning his head to notice Emma Swanson, a young shy girl sitting on a table during Ethans talk, picking at her nails. She tries to ignore him. He confronts her after and apologizes, and she blows him off casually and innocently. Mike also notices Ethan sneak a pill.

    At work, a bouncier Mike asks for a few extra weekends off to go to fundraisers and tech sessions, sounding somewhat nonchalant about the whole thing and trying to hide it. Stan his hesitant, especially after the computer crash, but agree to the hours change for now.

    At a rehearsal later, we see that Mike and Emma are clearly interested in each other, though he is far less willing to show it; even Mike is surprised at himself. She asks if he wants to ditch for food. He accepts. Theyre both really confused. Both have unknown histories with relationships and are affected by them in oddly repressive ways. Sarah and John, in between line readings, see them leave, and are both confused.

    Mike takes her to dinner at the Docks, where her confusion offsets his nervousness and makes her surprisingly confident and open with him. Mike is too eager to impress her, but shows a new side of himself in the form of his longing for a better city.

    We see the Collingwood basement, where Emma who, surprisingly, is the technical director – introduces the crew. There is a repartee about them that Mike enjoys and misses. Afterward, in Ethans room, there is a moment between Mike and Ethan; Ethan plays guitar at the Collingwood and Mike is curious, and they talk for a while, reminiscing about the theater and basking in the tranquility.

    At a gathering at the Collingwood soon after, various crew members, including Mike, Emma, and John, are led by Ethan in putting together bits of the set. We learn: a brief history of the company, about the quirks of various cast members (Alicia, Cameron, Jake, etc.), about the past relationship between John and Emma, and how they are still good friends. John seems unwilling to do more work than is required. Mike is simply enjoying himself, sketching in the corner. When Emma inquires and Mike refuses to show her, it sets off a ridiculous paint fight, and when Ethan reveals the sketch to everyone, we find Mike’s unseen talents as an artist.

    Later, Mike and Emma lie in bed, still covered in paint. They talk about past relationships, and Emma asks Mike about his unfinished book. Sore subjects, but nonetheless they are more open with each other than they’ve ever been with anyone.

    At work, Mike is visibly tired and still has paint on him. Stan gives him shit about it, asking what the deal was. Mike explains the basics, and Stan is curious but leaves it alone. Mikes need to work overtime is caught off-guard by Stans statement that hes worked so much he should have thousands saved up for a rainy day.

    Emmas help with the technical aspects, combined with his creativity, motivates other lesser members of the crew, and he seems very fulfilled by the change. On stage, Ethan attempts to bolster his cast, but one member, John, only vents with increasing frustration.

    After the culmination of a fight between John and Ethan, Sarah comes up to Mike in the basement; Mike asks what happened. Sarah tells him that John dropped the show, with two weeks left till the opening. He expresses his sympathies, half-heartedly. Emma and Ethan watch as Sarah asks if Mike would take Johns place, since he knows the show practically by heart and is a phenomenal talent. He refuses, on the basis that he doesnt have time or talent and wont throw himself into a show the way Sarah has. Mike screams at her. She leaves, disheartened, broken.

    That night, after the conflict, Mike and Emma begin driving back home. Upon Emmas inquiries about his loyalty to the broken company, he then proceeds to get very touchy, and Emma is taken aback. He argues that she cant know anything about what hes been through in his life; shes only 21. When Emma scoffs at him and mentions his book, he slams on the brakes. Emma reveals that she has his manuscript in her bag and has been reading it. Furious, Mike takes the book, gets out of the car, walks to the edge of the Hi-Level Bridge, and throws it in the river. It leaves Emma speechless, and she leaves. Mike, huffing and puffing, has lost himself.

    Mike drives alone, trying to collect himself. He arrives at the Collingwood, and paces the halls, adoring the artwork. Ethan comes across him in the hallway. They laugh, commiserating in their older age. Ethan is completely crushed by Johns departure, feeling like hes to blame and assigning none to Mikes refusal. Talking about the charity and about the first show they ever produced, it is clear to Mike that there is more to his life, to the company, and to everything, and Mikes desires, he realizes, should reflect that. Ethan understands responsibility, and wants Mike to be able to pay his bills, to do what he wants. Subtle mentions of a disease draw Mike’s attention. Mike agrees to take the role, explaining his relationship to the show, and Ethans pleasure is uncontainable.

    Emma walks upstage, telling Mike she can hear everything from the basement. He smiles. She sits next to him, and he explains his college dropout and who Claire was and what happened to her how he dropped out of school to help her after getting her pregnant, how she miscarried and left him shortly after the miscarriage. He cries about it (I tried so… hard…), and she awkwardly embraces him, laughing about how she wasnt exactly expecting any of his.

    He goes home to memorize lines. Messages from the cast mates await him at home, all eternally grateful, except for Sarah, who simply tells him to call her. He does.

    Arriving at work, Mike burns the picture of him and Claire. He falls asleep. Stan comes in later and wakes him, asks him whats wrong, and then agrees to take his shifts for the next two weeks. He knows Mike better than Mike cares to admit, and he accepts.

    On opening night, Emma brings him a painting of a Toledo sunset she started after their first date. She wishes him luck, then leaves as Sarah comes in to apologize for the other night; they havent had time in the bustle of re-blocking the show. Its a silent gaze between the family members; no words are necessary, they say, and embrace. Later, Mike confronts Ethan about his hidden disease, agreeing not to tell anyone. They hug as only true friends can.

    Ethan comes to visit Mike at his apartment after the show, giving an update on the total money raised. Mike is busy packing up most of his life into Sarahs car, and he explains hes planning on moving close to Sarah to find a change of scenery. Ethan tells him hes always welcome back in Toledo. Emma receives a letter in the mail from Mike, quick but optimistic, hoping her return to school receives her well. It includes the words: "If I can look back and see you, perhaps you can look forward and see me and the hope that nothing is permanent."

    The last scene is of Mike and Sarah, conversing and arguing (Did you call Mom?) and bouncing ideas off each other, driving off in Sarahs car back to her college, where Mike plans to finish writing his book, as evidenced by the typewriter sitting just above Emmas painting. He asks Sarah how shes doing. It dawns on her that she hasnt heard that from him in a long time. She smiles.

    {tab=FullCast & Crew}

    Produced By:

    • Corinne Barber known as executive producer
    • Stan Barber known as executive producer
    • Barbara Barron known as executive producer
    • Ingeborg Bowyer known as executive producer
    • Linda Bowyer known as executive producer
    • Ann Doyle known as executive producer
    • Steve Goldman known as executive producer
    • Richard Iott known as executive producer
    • Dan Klein known as executive producer
    • John Klein known as producer
    • Cole Simon known as executive producer
    • Bernard Tischler known as executive producer
    • Karen Webb known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Scott Douglas Wilson known as Mike Stegman
    • Kiana Harris known as Emma Swanson
    • Sarah Katz known as Sarah Stegman
    • Andrew Cronacher known as Ethan Dremlan
    • Shane Needham known as John Ember
    • Billy Earnhart known as Stan Minter
    • Kathy Skipper-Stong known as Nancy Stegman
    • Zach Sciranka known as Cameron Edwards
    • Pat Stengle known as Jake Chesling
    • Jess Kraus known as Alicia Evans
    • Josh Costell known as Kevin 'K-Dog' Mesner
    • Turner Ferrara known as Chase Worth
    • Meaghan Mick known as Glass City Player #1
    • Austin-Nichole Zachrich known as Glass City Player #2
    • Leah Lederman known as Glass City Player #3
    • Andrew P. Bean known as Glass City Player – Cast
    • Lori Bean known as Woman at Laundromat
    • Lisa Cordero known as Emma's Mom
    • Sarah Dauer known as Woman's daughter at Laundromat
    • Brittney Forrester known as Restaurant Patron #1
    • Skyler Michelle Hall known as Skyler
    • Diana Henzler known as Glass City Player – Crew
    • Patrick Hickey known as Perplexed guy at Laundromat
    • Pattie Kraus known as Alicia's Mom
    • Liz Schafer known as Glass City Player – Crew
    • Trig Simon known as Cameron's Dad
    • Pineapple Sixteen known as Underwear Man
    • Kathleen Sullivan known as Woman driving breaking car
    • Drew Thomas known as Restaurant Patron #3
    • Cassidy Tompkins known as Glass City Player – Crew
    • Rebecca Vail known as Glass City Player – Cast

    ..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

    • Kelly Fox known as key makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • Colleen Eldridge known as props
    • Kelly Everett known as painter
    • Chad-Michael Simon known as illustrator


    Production Companies:

    • Glass City Films

    ..{tab=Other Stuff}Release Date:

    • USA 19 April 2008 (limited)


    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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