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Our Town: A celebration of life, love, moments missed

Smithson Valley Theatre presents the American classic "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder.

Our+Town+opens+on+Wednesday%2C+October+24th
Our Town opens on Wednesday, October 24th

Our Town opens on Wednesday, October 24th

Courtesy of SVHS Theatre Department

Courtesy of SVHS Theatre Department

Our Town opens on Wednesday, October 24th

Jackson Posey, Staff Writer

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The rain pounded outside the auditorium, serenading the thespians with a drumbeat that mimicked their own heart. Their mission? Giving people a new perspective on how they look at life, and the faces that pass them by on that cold road that we travel.

“(‘Our Town’) has had a very big impact on everything I do,” said freshman Presley Berry, who portrays Emily Webb. “After I first read the script, I began noticing things I would have never (noticed) before. I saw all the little things that seemed meaningless, but I would never want to lose. Like when I walk the dog every Sunday and I see the sun setting and how nice it feels to put on pajamas after a long day. ‘Our Town’ shows how quickly everything could be taken away and how important every single thing we do is.”

“Our Town,” relatable on all levels, remains relevant 70 years after its premiere. Writer Thornton Wilder’s  script resonates long after the curtains close.

“It’s the most universal play that exists,” said junior Lanie Stanley, who plays Julia Gibbs. “Everyone carries a piece of (the characters) with them.”

The relatability, however, stretches far beyond a simple situation or emotion.

“Everyone can apply themselves to it…you can go to a production of Our Town  and watch it and say…‘I can put myself in that character’s shoes,’” Stanley said.

Freshman Corinne Levy said the production would a close-up experience.

“Everyone contributes to the show because (we) want the show to be the best that it can be,” she continued. “We want to give the audience an amazing performance, and our (hard workP gets us there, so we all put in the work to make it the best it can be.”

Whether large or small parts, every cast member is vital to the story, which gives the audience a real sense of belonging.

“It’s more intimate (than a movie), because you’re up close with the actors, they’re in your face, you’re literally right next to them…you really feel like you’re in the scene with them,” senior LJ Haider, who plays the role of the Stage Manager. He exists across the fourth wall, acting as a narrator of sorts, moving the play along and inviting the audience in for the ride. It’s a role Wilder himself briefly played during the original Broadway run of the show in 1938, and one that has affected Haider personally.

“It’s helped me a lot… I’m more open” Haider said.

Haider’s character tries to splice together the lives of Grovers’ Corners residents as they walk through the highs and lows of life, one day at a time.

This is not an easy show, to perform or watch.

“(‘Our Town’) tells the story of a lot of stuff that people are afraid to talk about and that people are sometimes ashamed to talk about,” Levy said, “and it gets into those deeps topics you don’t really think about every day.”

The plays pulls out the  worst fears and puts them on full display for the world to see. 

“It makes you… it forces you to evaluate things personally, and to open your eyes as Emily is told to do,” director Casey O’Bryant said, “and as she says, ‘We never see what we’re supposed to see, so savoring every moment and every little thing is crucial in this life.’”

 

About the Writer
Jackson Posey, Staff Writer

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18.

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