Winter 2014 Production

Thornton Wilder’s classic play, Our Town, was performed by Lancaster Mennonite High School for two weekends in January: January 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and January 23-25 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, January 25.

The play will be staged in the “three-quarters round” format, using the stage space to seat audience members closer to the actors. In this format, seating will be limited and provided on a first come, first serve basis.

This beautifully-written play is a masterpiece for American theater and will bring audiences to tears both through laughter and reflection. Join us in celebrating its 75 year.

Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults, and may be reserved by calling the box office at 299-0436, ext. 340.

Photos courtesy of Paul Jacobs Photography.

Synopsis

Our Town has been an acclaimed theatrical piece ever since Thornton Wilder won his second Pulitzer Prize for writing it in 1938. The play presents a snapshot of Grover’s Corner, a small town at the turn of the twentieth century. The show embraces humor despite its unapologetic ordinariness and, at the same time, views the place and its people from the perspective of eternity. The Lancaster Mennonite production holds true to Wilder’s required bare stage and minimal props. Instead, he moves the proceedings with the all-knowing Stage Manager who ushers the audience through life. Consisting of three acts, the play delves into the beauty and challenges of life and death.

Act I

Daily Life: As the day begins, the Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover’s Corners, its residents, and their everyday activities. This is when the audience first meets two local families. Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs are readying their son George for school. Mr. Webb, the local newspaper editor and Mrs. Webb are doing the same for their daughter, Emily.

Act II: Love and Marriage

After some years pass, George Gibbs and Emily Webb prepare to wed. The day, however, is filled with some stress. George pays an awkward visit with his soon-to-be in-laws. At this point in the play, the Stage Manager takes the audience back, to see the blossoming of this relationship. We discover that George resolves not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and eventually take over his uncle’s farm. The wedding follows where George, in a fit of nervousness, tells his mother that he is not ready to marry.

Act III: Death and Eternity

At the start of this act the audience is now looking at a very different aspect of life, death. The Stage Manager introduces the audience to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who died in the nine years since Act Two. The difficult nature of death is deftly addressed in the beautiful final moments of the play. Audiences are reminded of the need to value “every, every minute.”