The story is deceptively straightforward. It depicts the lives of the inhabitants of the small New Hampshire town of Grover’s Corners. We follow members of two families as they go about their daily lives, fall in love, marry, and die. But the play is not simple. Characters move easily between the past and present, and between the living and the dead. The dead talk to each other. Using theatrical devices that are as uncommon today as they were when the play was first produced in 1938, Wilder constantly reminds the audience that they are seeing a play, at the same time that he draws them into the characters’ lives and asks them to share the characters’ fears, struggles, triumphs, joys, and losses. The New York Post said of the original production, “Beautiful and remarkable; one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theater. . . . A spiritual experience.”
The play, which was first performed in 1938, focuses on Grover’s Corners between the years 1901 and 1913, and on the Webb and Gibbs families whose teenage children, played by Kyle Dickens and Elaina Roher, fall in love. Connor Henry, as the stage manager, offers a long view of the trajectory of lives in the town. Other characters include Dr. Frank Gibbs, performed by Jon Yawn; his wife, Julia Gibbs, performed by Natasha Wroblewski; Myrtle Webb, performed by Audrey McKee; and her husband Charles Webb performed by Owen O’Neill. Other members of the cast include Lucinda Culver, Brian Chew, and Abby Mapp.
Our Town will run December 4, 5, and 6 at 7:00pm and December 7 at 2:30 pm in the Friendswood High School Studio Theater. Tickets are $10 at-the-door.
Amy Thornton, director