Amity High tackles ‘Our Town’
WOODBRIDGE >> The theater department at Amity High School, 25 Newton Road, will present Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Our Town,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.
The play presents a timeless tale of everyday life in the fictional Grover’s Corners, N.H.
Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, and marry; enduring both the joys and sorrows of everyday life.
Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the wonder of living.
It has been called the “Great American play” by Edward Albee.
Wilder was a lifelong resident of Hamden. Although the play takes place in New Hampshire, many of the inspirations for it come from this region of Connecticut.
Woodbridge resident, Yale professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, wrote a recent foreword to “Our Town.”
“Indeed the play’s success across cultural borders around the world attests to its being something much greater than an American play: it is a play that captures the universal experience of being alive,” Margulies wrote.
When it was first performed, America was experiencing the aftershocks of the Great Depression and living under the impending shadow of World War II.
Although uncertain times and fear characterized the period, Wilder focuses the play on the facets of the human experience that testify to the strength, and endurance of the human spirit.
The New York Times hailed the play as “beautifully evocative,” and named it “one of the finest achievements of the current stage.”
“Our Town” cemented its place in history when Wilder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1938.
For director Rob Kennedy, its New England setting and message about everyday life make it an especially relevant piece for the Amity audiences.
“Each visit to Grover’s Corners reveals some new facet,” says Kennedy.
And while you may have seen it before or been in it in high school, Wilder himself points out that “I Love You” and “I Suffer” have been said many billions of times, and never twice the same.
Kennedy hopes audiences will “watch with fresh eyes, for the first time.”
“Our Town” includes ACT newcomer Brian Forbes as the Stage Manager who leads audiences on their journey through Grover’s Corners; Emily Kilian as Emily Webb; Harrison Paek as George Gibbs; Carrie Ann Canfield as Mrs. Webb; Eric Greenbaum as Editor Webb; Alaina Dwyer as Mrs. Gibbs; and Ryan Rattley as Doctor Gibbs.
Other cast members include Lili Querker, Evan D’Onofrio, Ryan Rappaport, Maren Westgard, Shane Gordon, Jeffrey Gallo, Dean Pocwierz, Ben Kemp, Joyce Lin, Emma Ginshannon, Kelsey Paier and Kayla Zamkov.
Set design by Kennedy, costumes by Julie Chevan, and lights by Dan Hassenmayer.
The assistant director is Yuliya Faryna and the stage managers are Jacob Okolo, Jillian Gusciora and Sophie Clemons.
The show will be presented to the Amity student body grades 8-12 as part of the Spartan Seminar Dec. 7-9.
Tickets for the public performance are $10 and can be purchased at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling the box office at 203-392-2019.