From the 2014-2015 Season:
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town
Playing April 10, 2015 to April 26, 2015
$15 General Admission Preview Thursday April 9
The Tavern stage becomes small town America this spring. Our stage set will be stripped bare to bring the love story of George and Emily to life including all of the characters in their lives ... in our lives ... in our town. Narrated by Artistic Director Jeff Watkins as Wilder's Stage Manager, The Tavern's production of this modern classic is sure to warm your heart, to bring you to smile, and to make your eyes glisten.
Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday April 19 after the show!
Copyright agent: Alan Brodie Representation Ltd
Directed by Andrew Houchins
“No curtain. No scenery.” The first two sentences in Thornton Wilder’s script for Our Town are as definite as they are brief. Written in 1938, Mr. Wilder’s play has given us a story of life and death, of growing up and falling in love, of moments that are of vital importance and moments that seem trivial and inconsequential. But it’s not just the tale of George Gibbs and Emily Webb that Wilder offered to the world of theatre. He has also given us an opportunity, as well as a challenge. With the simple instruction to perform this play without a set, we the audience (as well as the performers) are offered the gift of a fuller imagination, of not being spoon-fed everything that would create Grover’s Corners in full.
When this play was written, audiences were quite accustomed to seeing fully-realized box sets, laden with furniture and props and decorations and pieces designed to create a sense of “reality.” But this conceit was quite contrary to Wilder’s own views of theatre. From the playwright:
“They loaded the stage with specific objects, because every concrete object on stage fixes and narrows the action to one moment in time and place... When you emphasize place in the theater, you drag down and limit and harness time to it. You thrust the action back into past time, whereas it is precisely the glory of the stage that it is always 'now' there.”
Now, in the 80 years since first publication, the theatrical concept of ditching the set has become much more commonplace. What was shocking to spectators in the ‘30s has become “old hat” to theatre-goers in the 21st century. Wilder intentionally blew up his audience’s pre-conceived notions of what they expected to see and demanded a greater use of the viewer’s imagination. And it is in this vein, and in the hope of once again accomplishing what the playwright intended, that we forego “period” costumes for this production. You may see hints here and there on the actors as a reminder of the time in which this story is set. You might see wardrobe pieces that are influenced by the styles of the time. But what’s most important here is the story: the language, and the relationships, and the universality of the human experience. Because WE ARE Grover’s Corners, and this play is about the way we are right now, “…in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying.”
Welcome to Our Town.
Stage Manager - Jeffrey Watkins
Professor Willard, Joe Stoddard, Ensemble - Robert Wayne
Simon Stimson, Ensemble - Nicholas Faircloth
Mr. Webb - Troy Willis*
Mrs. Webb - Anja Lee*
Emily Webb - Galen Crawley*
Doc Gibbs - J. Tony Brown*
Mrs. Gibbs - Nancy Riggs
George Gibbs - Adam King
Rebecca Gibbs, Ensemble - Amanda Lindsey
Howie Newsome, Ensemble - Vinnie Mascola
Mr. Carter, 1st Person in Box, Ensemble - Chris Schulz
Sam Craig, Belligerent Man, Ensemble - David Sterritt
Constable Warren, Ensemble - Clarke Weigle
Mrs. Soames, Lady in Box, Ensemble - Rachel Frawley
Dead Woman, Lady in Box, Wedding Guest, Choir Member - Christa West*
Wally Webb, Joe & Si Crowell, Ensemble - Elijah Forbes, Joseph Masson (alternating)
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. (In these cases, we offer a synopsis with important historical or contextual explanations which you may read in the Playbill before the show.) In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations, and the language may be hard to follow for a first-timer.
We recommend this type of play to High School and College Students, casual theatre-goers, people who like mainstream films and reading “The Onion”, and Shakespeare lovers who enjoy delving into the Elizabethan world.
How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: You may wish to read the synopsis we provide (and maybe your notes from Literature Class). Or simply do a small amount of internet research. No worries – you won’t get lost.
Performances this Season
- The Taming of the ShrewPerformances begin March 26, 2015
- Thornton Wilder’s Our TownPerformances begin April 10, 2015
- The Merchant of VenicePerformances begin May 01, 2015
- CoriolanusPerformances begin May 29, 2015
- As You Like ItPerformances begin June 19, 2015
- A Midsummer Night’s DreamPerformances begin July 17, 2015
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)Performances begin August 07, 2015