“Our Town” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1938 for its tender and poignant look at life in a small town at the turn of the last century, from 1901 through 1913. Presented in three acts, the play tells the story of the Webb (played by John Ayers and Deborah Osborne) and Gibbs (Peter Gair and Wendy Muello) families, next-door neighbors in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, whose children Emily and George (Catherine Carter and Mike Perry) grow up, fall in love, marry, and face eternity. Sukeshini Dugan-Henriksen plays the Gibbs’ younger daughter Rebecca. Jon Dugan-Henriksen directs this production, and Patricia Dugan-Henriksen is the production stage manager.
In Act I, titled “Daily Life,” we meet the people of Grover’s Corners–and see the town though the descriptions offered by the Stage Manager (Joe Doherty), who also serves as the play’s narrator. As with any small town, Grover’s Corners has a cast of colorful characters including the ever-tipsy choir-master (Daniel Adams), the local busy-body (Naomi Going), the town constable (Nathan Wert), the milkman (Barry Crawford), the paper-boy (John Quigley), the undertaker (Noah Cadieux), and the ladies of the town’s choir (Kara Reed, Becky Hassett, Becky Crawford, Joanne Doyle and Ramona Dube).
In Act II, “Love and Marriage,” we are witness to George and Emily’s courtship, and attend their wedding as the nervous bride and groom set aside their doubts and pledge to love, honor and cherish each other ’til death do them part.
Finally, in Act III, “Death and Eternity,” we travel up the hill to the town’s cemetery to visit with those citizens who have passed into the next life and to hear their take on the life in our town that they left behind and their anticipation of what is yet to come.
While the Grover’s Corners of Wilder’s imagination is somewhere near New Hampshire’s border with Massachusetts, this presentation sets the town in southern Coos County with references and back-drop (by John Ayers) in which you will recognize the surroundings of Lancaster. “Our Town” is gently nostalgic for a time gone by but with a message of family, community, and faith that reflects traditional North Country virtues.
“Our Town” is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., New York, N.Y. The Lancaster performances of “Our Town” are set for the Lancaster Town Hall building for April 4, 5, 6 and 12, as their gift to the community, thanking theater-goers for 40 years of support of their productions. Curtain-time is 7:30 p.m. (the house opens one-half hour before) and the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the April 11 Colebrook performance are $15 and curtain time is 7:30. Tickets can be purchased for this show in advance at Fiddleheads on Main Street in Colebrook and at the door on the night of the performance. For more information on this and other GNWCA events, call 237-9302 or 246-8998, or visit www.gnwca.org.