Our Town - October 19 - October 20, 2018

Artios of Sugar Hill

 Director's Notes 


The story of Our Town is a long-favored and well-loved theatrical classic. It was a Pulitzer-Prize winning accomplishment back in 1938, and it’s writing and form has more than stood the test of time. Later in its long history, Our Town received multiple Drama Desk Awards and, eventually, a Tony Award for “Best Revival”. This show has been performed on stages ranging widely from professional, to collegiate, to community theatre, to high-schools around the world.

 

The show develops from a play-within-a-play format, consistently breaking through the theatrical “fourth wall”. It takes viewers a few scenes to adjust to the refreshing way the audience is included and is considered an active participant in the story’s unfolding. From the Stage Manager leading the audience through the happenings at Grover’s Corners, to the very design of the plotline itself, it is clear that writer Thornton Wilder wanted the audience to have a break in traditional play-going experiences during the play’s original era. Many modern works of theatre have drawn from Mr. Wilder’s expressions of storytelling and the details with which he paints the world he envisioned within the text and stage directions. He was truly a visionary in his own time, and that vision has rippled throughout the subsequent decades of fine arts.


At first glance, it’s contents may seem simplistic or uninspired to an overly impatient eye. For some, it may be easy to miss the remarkable layers of creativity and intent that are grafted into this work. For our students, taking the time to unpack this plot and then perform these characters well, took time and vision. They rose to that challenge with expert dedication and careful commitment. Our cast (and I along with them) truly hope that this story will bring you insight, clarity, inspiration, and depth of consideration.


The first Act is meant to peel back the initial curtain in an experience of examining life. Act II is designed to cause you to think further than you might have initially.

 

The third and closing Act is meant to lay the final layer of poignancy over the discoveries made along the way. Watch carefully, as it may not be until final moments that you realize what you missed. As this cast found itself laughing at the truly comedic moments of Our Town, challenged by the educational intricacies it presents, and collectively tearing up over it’s most tender moments, we found a bonding experience between its pages.

 

Our desire is to share that experience with you, our audience. We ask that you not merely watch as this play constructs and deconstructs before you, but to truly observe and be discerning of its profound messages regarding living and dying. It has been an honor to delve into truth, humanity, and critical thinking alongside these wonderful students.

 

Welcome to Grover’s Corners.


Jessie Sterner Legg
Director

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