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Our Town on Stage

Hamilton District Christian High students prepare for their production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

Enjoy our student performances May 12-14 2016 at 7:30 pm here @ Hamilton District Christian High .

About Our Town
Our Town is a three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional American small town between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens.

First produced and published in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize–winning drama of life in the small village of Grover’s Corners has become an American classic and is Thornton Wilder’s most renowned and most frequently performed play.

 

Directors Notes

Thornton Wilder designed Our Town to reflect the simplicity and beauty of small town life while highlighting the importance of relationships and family. The set of the play is sparse and representational, allowing the audience to focus on the relationships and dialogue between characters. Many props are pantomimed to suggest their existence without taking away from the simplicity of the moments in each scene.

The “butternut tree” at centre stage is a representation of the passage of life. As the Acts unfold, so the tree shifts from a young, spring-like vision full of promise and life to a full-green summer-leaved beauty and finally to a fall-foliaged symbol of the wistful passage of time. As Emily reflects in Act Three, “It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another.” Wilder believes, and we along with him, that the whole earth is just “too wonderful for anybody to realize.” And it simply flashes before our eyes.

The family relationships in the Webb house and the Gibbs house are designed to serve as every American family in 1901. Siblings squabble, boys play baseball, parents admonish and fuss, spouses plan and reminisce, and townsfolk gossip and meddle.

As we watch Emily’s life unfold, we are reminded that life is fleeting and that we must learn to cherish “every, every minute.” This same rule is true for Mrs. Gibbs who longs to see Paris, France, but never gets the chance. There is a sense in the play that everyone must learn to seize the day and not let life slip away without realizing its potential.

In another sense, Grover’s Corners sees its share of tribulation. Simon Stimson, the church organist harbours his own private pain; young local boys go off to war and never return; even George’s dream of owning a farm of his own does not come to pass without its own share of struggle.

Wilder’s play invites us to savour the everyday moments of life, really taking the time to see one another and know one another deeply. In this way we will fully experience joy.

Sara Whetstone & Karin Boonstra
Co-Directors

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