The Ballard Talisman

Performing Arts finishes off the year with the production of ‘Our Town’

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Junior Caroline Harader as Mrs. Gibbs and senior Ingemar Sonnerup as Dr. Gibbs.

Junior Caroline Harader as Mrs. Gibbs and senior Ingemar Sonnerup as Dr. Gibbs.

Julian Whitwoth

Julian Whitwoth

Junior Caroline Harader as Mrs. Gibbs and senior Ingemar Sonnerup as Dr. Gibbs.

Kylie Williams and Zoe Bodovinitz

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The play “Our Town,” directed by student teacher Alexis Garramone, tells the story of the lives in the fictional city Grover’s Corners, circa 1938. Focusing on the characters in the small town, the seemingly insignificant lives of parents, kids, and random townspeople are exposed. Many times, scenes are paused for the narrator to analyze the events taking place.

As soon as the doors open, the Stage Manager, Senior Skyler Neuen, is roaming around the dim-lit stage with a pipe to soft old-timey music, setting the mood for the simplistic town.

The production was even more interactive with the townspeople who walked through the aisles and pulled in the audience. The basic set and use of imagination in place of simple props adds to the common nature of the rural, lower-middle class town. Wives and mothers, Mrs. Webb, Junior Erin Tangenberg, and Mrs. Gibbs, Junior Caroline Harader, create an early American atmosphere, with their constant kitchen busy work and domestic lives.

Junior Riley Stowell, Mr. Webb, and Senior Ingemar Sonnerup, Dr. Gibbs, perform with maturities that make their roles as fathers and family leaders not just believable, but draw the audience further into the story.

Diego Ortiz Villacorta San Juan’s performance as alcoholic choir director Simon Stimson was depressingly hilarious. It was obvious his life was tragic, but his actions and words were difficult not to laugh at.

The energetic and lively Juniors Olivia Knoll, Rebecca Gibbs, and Cassidy Murphy, Mrs. Soames, along with the charming roles of Constable Warren, Senior Kenji Picardo, and Howie Newsome, Junior Roscoe McDonald, give the endearing small town background.

In the first act, Daily Life, the focus of the play is on easy living and the love story between George Gibbs, played by Junior Daniel Windus, and Emily Webb, played by Senior Ceci Harader. Windus and Harader portray a stereotypical American relationship, while also showing the changing roles that occurred at this time.

In Act II, “Love and Marriage,” the love story develops and moments between the young couple are broken down and highlighted, to show significant times that most people take for granted. The worries and concerns that the bride and groom overcome to go through with their wedding inspire and give hope to problems that seem like a right of passage, not life changing moments.

Act III, Death and Eternity, wrap the message into a pretty bow, when a young life is taken and she realizes the mistakes people make when they’re alive. Life goes fast, and no one appreciates the small moments. As the Stage Manager says, only poets and saints really seem to fully live life while they still have it. Many of the characters have passed and stay seated in chairs representing their tombstones. The cast members that live on, visit and cry for the dead, but only those characters sitting in the chairs speak showing a surprising perspective shift from the happier two acts. The dark, emotional scene sends a powerful message home with the audience, to not waste their life like every character in the play did.

“Our Town” is a play centered on character interactions and conversations. It grabs the full attention of anyone watching and the audience is left to think about how they will leave their mark in an ever changing society. The point that is driven home is that every life is significant and worthy of being preserved in history as long as nothing is taken for granted.

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Performing Arts finishes off the year with the production of ‘Our Town’