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Our Town

By Thornton Wilder

The timeless and quintessential American play on life, love, and death

Department of Theatre & Drama

Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

February 18 - 21, 2010


Overview

The Story: Set in mythical Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire, Our Town chronicles the mundane events of daily life, from first love to marriage and on to death, by tracing the lives of next-door neighbors Emily Webb and George Gibb. Presiding over the action is the Stage Manager, who provides commentary and background on the lives and futures of the townsfolk. Through plain-spoken poetry and moving eloquence, the people of Our Town show that life is both precious and ordinary.

Artistic Significance: An American classic for over seventy years, Our Town was considered radically innovative upon its debut on Broadway in 1938. The absence of scenery, direct speaking to the audience, and kaleidoscopic treatment of time was a sharp break from the realistic drawing-room dramas of the period. Wilder’s insistence on this theatrical form accentuates the play’s complex and universal message to live each day to its fullest. Reviewing the premiere, Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times wrote: “One of the finest achievements of the current stage. Mr. Wilder has transmuted the simple events of a human life into universal reverie. Our Town has escaped from the formal barrier of the modern theatre into the quintessence of acting, thought, and speculation. A hauntingly beautiful play.” Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize, Our Town continues to resonate as each generation finds new meaning in its “attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life.”

 

Cast

Max Artsis (Chatsworth, CA), Josh Berkowitz (West Bloomfield, MI),

Seon Britton (Southfield, MI), Emma Donson (Ossining, NY),

Shannon Eagen (Southfield, MI), Carrie Fisk (Grosse Pointe, MI),

Jeffery Freelon (Chicago, IL), Bridget Coyne Gabbe (New York, NY),

Casey Hanley (Mill Valley, CA), David Kaplinsky (Chicago, IL),

Paul Koch (Mill Valley, CA), Laura Lapidus (Winnetka, IL),

Myles Mershman (Shelby Township, MI), Tedra Millan (Bryn Mawr, PA),

April Moreau (Cape Coral, FL), Jesse Peri (Stinson Beach, CA),

Joey Richter (Laguna Niguel, CA), Jordan Rochelson (Great Neck, NY),

Brian Rosenthal (Harrisburg, PA), John Samela (Winsted, CT),

Nick Skardarasy (Grosse Pointe Shores, MI), Matt Socha (Naperville, IL),

Allison Stock (East Brunswick, NJ), Derek Joseph Tran (Temple City, CA),

Brittany Uomoleale (Westport, CT)

 

Our town graphic image


Artistic Staff

Director Jerry Schwiebert
Scenic Designer Gary Decker
Costume Designer Christianne Myers
Lighting Designer Andrés Holder
Stage Manager Michelle Bryan

Photos

Click here to view photos from Our Town


Program

Click here to view the Our Town program

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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