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Monday, September 28, 2020

“Our Town” comes home

A play without scenery and props in which the actors move chairs and stairs around the stage may seem like a simple, bare-bones production, but the play Our Town explores complex ideas about life and love. 

Anthony Cantrell, a theater instructor, is directing the Pierce College production of the American classic “Our Town.”

Set in the early 1900s, the people of the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, live simple lives. 

The first act explores their daily routines and interactions as the stage manager, Jasmine Curry, addresses the audience and talks about the history of Grover’s Corners and the lives of the residents. 

The play focuses on the Webb and Gibbs families. 

A young Emily Webb, played by Justine Gorry, and her neighbor George Gibbs, played by Norman Thatch, start an innocent romance.

In the second act, three years pass and Emily and George prepare for their wedding when the stage manager interrupts the scene and decides to go back in time to show how they fell in love.

“It is definitely a night filled with light, with love and appreciation,” Gorry said. 

Throughout the play, the stage manager offers insightful comments and foreshadows the importance of treasuring the present. 

“It’s just a simple play that discusses complex ideas,” Cantrell said. “I would hope that the audience’s expectations would just let the play happen in the moment and trying to appreciate each moment.”

The last act delves into heavier topics. Nine years have passed since Emily and George married, and a lot has changed. 

Connie Miller plays Mrs. Soames in the play.

“You should expect a tear-jerker. It’s an old-fashioned sad show,” Miller said. 

While the minimal set and lack of props leave actors miming most actions, foley artists create sounds on the side of the stage to better understand what’s happening. 

The show will run Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students from any school with a valid student ID. Senior citizens who are 62 years old or older pay $18, and $23 for general admission. 

“It’s one of those productions that when you leave it, there’s a piece of it with you and you think about it because it’s very impactful,” Gorry said.

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