Monday, September 30, 2013

"Our Town" 75th anniversary performance comes to Randolph College

Randolph College will mark the 75th anniversary of Our Town with two weekends of performances of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Emily Sirney ’15 performs the role of the stage manager in a recent Our Town rehearsal.
First produced in 1938, Our Town tells the story of everyday life in Grover’s Corners, a fictional small town in New Hampshire. Performed on a sparse set where actors pantomime many of their actions, it focuses on the everyday life of the town’s residents. However, it has a much deeper meaning.

“It’s not just a play about a sleepy little town where people fall in love and die,” said Brooke Edwards, a Randolph theatre professor and director of the play. “It’s about the eternal nature of human beings. It is about quality of life and what is the important part of life.

“There is beauty and art to be found in everyday living, but do we take time to appreciate that? We don’t,” Edwards added. “Everything is so fast, we just miss it all. I think the world is revisiting this play because it really hits on that.”

Edwards chose to produce Our Town because, in addition to having an anniversary this year, it also has become a standard “rite of passage” for those working in theatre. Performed on a sparse set—Randolph’s production will use only four chairs and a ghost light—it challenges actors to grow and invites audiences to use their imaginations to explore the world of Grover’s Corners.

The cast includes 15 people, including Randolph students and members of the Lynchburg community. “Everyone has been cast and put into a position where they are going to feel the best about their ability and feel the best about what they are doing,” Edwards said.

Our Town will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, 5, 6, 11, and 12 in the lab theatre, room 203 in the Leggett Building. General admission is $10, $8 for the Randolph community and for adults over 60, $5 for all students. Visit www.LynchburgTickets.com for tickets and information.