The Heritage Community Theater proudly announces its rendition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town which will be performed January 16-February 6, 2016.
Often described as the greatest American play ever written, the story follows two families in Grover’s Corners, NH at the turn on the 20th century through daily life, love and marriage, and death and eternity. Director Katie Pace-Hess said, “Despite its being an older play, the message is still relevant and it becomes the work of the creative team and the cast to make that message fresh and present it in a new way. The same iconic theatrical elements of Our Town—minimal set and the presence of a narrator--are still there, but it’s not the same Our Town you may have seen in high school.” The show is accented with music from the era, including some special performances. “We’ve also worked very hard to correlate what happened in everyday life and the beginning of the last century to what happens in our own everyday lives at the beginning of this century. We find that things aren’t really all that different. In the end the human race has the same milestones: we grow up, we fall in love, we raise our families, we pass away and go on to the next phase and then the whole process repeats with the next generation.”
One of the major themes of Our Town is family bonds. You will notice several touching scenes where parents influence and interact with their children. This cast features several families. For example, Judean Parkinson of Deweyville plays Mrs. Gibbs, the mother of George Gibbs, who is played by her real-life son, Kyle Parkinson. Brock and Shannon Cheney of Willard play Mr. and Mrs. Webb, Shannon’s daughter Jane Olson also participates in the ensemble. “And I could never pull it off,” says Pace-Hess, “without the considerable talents of my own parents and mentors, Dee and Nedra Pace.” Dee Pace plays the narrator of Our Town and Nedra has taken on the role of Musical Director and Producer.
The director also emphasizes the importance of community in Our Town. “You see parents interact with children other than their own—it really does take a village. You also see a community that is present in each other’s lives and genuine in their concern and care for each other. You also see where the community fails to reach out to those on the fringes and the consequences of that failure. I think that’s an important takeaway.”