Must See Performance: “Our Town” Opens Friday

Whether you have ever lived in a small town or not, Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” is sure to touch a place in the heart of anyone who has ever once reminisced of “how things might have been only if”. Many of Clarke County’s most talented young actors will take to the stage on Friday to deliver what will likely be an outstanding performance that should not be missed.

The cast of Thorton Wilder's "Our Town" - Photo Edward Leonard

Wilder’s classic play about turn-of-the-century life in the small New Hampshire town of Grover’s Corners  was first produced in 1938 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. The story takes examines the need for human companionship while questioning the institution of marriage. The plays two main characters, Emily and George Gibbs, experience  last-minute apprehension about entering marriage together representing a universal theme of young people wanting the responsibilities adulthood quickly while still craving the relative certainty and security of childhood.

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Ben Martin and Addison Peacock, who were paired in lead roles in “Bye Bye Birdie”, are reunited on-stage as principals Emily and George Gibbs. The duo exhibits strong chemistry onstage as they did in “Bye Bye Birdie”, however, the more sober content in “Our Town” provides both with an opportunity to explore deeper emotions and concepts.

Addison Peacock is Emily Webb in "Our Town" - Photo Edward Leonard

Syndey Wilkins and Anna Louthan play the mother’s of George and Emily. The couple’s fathers are played by Patrick Hudson and Spencer Trask. While both of the Webb and Gibbs families are from the same small town, Thorton’s genius captures them as sharing similarities and differences in their philosophical outlooks on life. These differing views haunt George and Emily through life and ultimately into death.

The lead role in Our Town is played by Julia Shaffer, the all-knowing Stage Manager who guides the actors through life.

Ben Martin plays George Gibbs in "Our Town" - Photo Edward Leonard

While “Our Town” is a very poignant and moving play, younger children may lose interest in the performance due to the lack of humor and pageantry often included in Clarke County performances. The set for “Our Town” is unlike other recent performances in that the props are spartan and the lighting dim. Wilder purposely designed the minimalist set to keep audiences focused on the mature message in the play. Berryville audiences will have little difficulty in relating to the cast because Grover’s Corners can feel eerily similar to small-town Virginia at times. The “Our Town” cast does an excellent job of carrying the mature themes that the play is based on.

“Our Town” will be performed at Johnson Williams Middle School in Berryville, Virginia on November 19th and 20th at 7;00 pm with a Sunday November 20th performance at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for students with CCPS employees admitted free of charge.

Anna Louthan as Mrs. Webb in "Our Town" - Photo Edward Leonard

Patrick Hudson as Dr. Gibbs - Photo Edward Leonard

The Cast of “Our Town”

Stage Manager                                               Julia Shaffer

Dr. Gibbs                                   Patrick Hudson

Joe Crowell                                                           Travis   Fairman

Howie Newsome                    Bradley Braithwaite

Mrs. Gibbs                                Sydney Wilkins

Mrs. Webb                                Anna Louthan

George Gibbs                                                     Ben Martin

Rebecca Gibbs                        Emma Dowling

Wally Webb                              Jordan Hardy

Emily Webb                              Addison Peacock

Mrs. Soames                             Elizabeth Blight

Simon Stimson                        Stephen Nickens

Professor Willard                   William Bigelow

Mr. Webb                                   Spencer Trask

Woman in Balcony                 Haleigh Murray

Man in Auditorium                Special Guest Star

Lady in the Box                       Kelsey Rosier

Constable Warren                  Danny McGrath

Si Crowell                                   Hugh Kiser

Travis Fairman                         Hugh Kiser

Sam Craig                                    Quinn Chatham

Joe Stoddard                             Jacob Genda

Baseball Players

Craig Genda

Jay Helinski

The Dead

Maeve Jones

Emma Robinson

Cierra Powers

Jordan Donnelly

Choir Nikki   Zuleger

Jackie O’Hara

Nora Warren

Meredith Levy

Jordan Donnelly (Act I & II)

Emma Robinson (Act I & II)

Cierra Powers (Act I & II)

Maeve Jones (Act I & II)

Kelsey Rosier

Haleigh Murray

Bradley Braithwaite

Jacob Genda

Quinn Chatham

Danny McGrath

Comments

  1. So excited to see this show! What a great opportunity for our kids!

    • Very excited too, it’s opening night! Is “break-a-leg” still the appropriate expression? Where did that term really come from anyway? (lots of ideas floating the web search engines).

      • Fly on the wall says:

        The most common, and superstitious, belief is that it’s a little “reverse psychology” for the imps who like to pull pranks and mischief. If one wished an actor “Good luck!”, they’d want to do something mean, like cause a sandbag to fall near his head or something. So, to wish “Break a leg!” on that person meant that the imps had no choice but to help a good show come forth onstage…

  2. Travis Goodwin says:

    Break a leg, cast and crew! And…bravo, Mrs. Brewer, for starting a new theatre tradition here in good ol’ Clarke County. It’s nice to see the arts get a stronger heartbeat!

  3. Great show! I thought everyone did a great job! If you missed it, you missed a great one!

  4. jordan hardy says:

    It was cool to be in our town as Wally Webb.