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Product reviews for Our Town

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Existing reviews

by Andrew Snider on 11/10/2017 8:31 AM

by Susan Eiden on 8/15/2017 1:33 PM

by Isaac Quick on 7/1/2017 12:54 PM

Classic!
Our Town is a classic that all theatre students should read and study, whether it is publicly performed or not. A must-have for every theatre program!

by Tim Marquette on 8/3/2016 5:53 PM

Our Town

by Jessica Horn on 3/17/2016 7:16 AM

Our Town is best with an adult cast
I believe that Our Town has gotten a reputation as "the High School play".  I swear that just about every high school mounts a production just about once a decade.  There are a number of reasons for this, including the minimal staging requirements and the simple and straightforward language.

But don't be fooled.  This play is deep enough, emotional enough, fun enough that it needs an age appropriate cast.  That is, the age of the actors should closely mirror the age of the characters they portray.  

Take, for example, the wedding scene when Mrs Webb walks on stage and turns and addresses the audience, explaining how emotionally wrenching it is to see her daughter to get married.  While there are certainly teenagers who can do a decent job of this soliloquy, this speech really deserves a middle-aged woman with daughters of her own, or at least someone who can reach into herself and pull out her own experiences and emotions.  

Our Town displays the panoply of human experience.  The best actors to portray this scope, these events, are those actors who have a broad experience in life.  I'm not saying that high schools shouldn't mount a production.  I am only urging all-ages troupes to take the challenge and mount their own production -- to portray Our Town as it was meant to be portrayed.

by Craig Fisher on 12/11/2015 12:11 PM

Our Town
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town offers an honest portrayal of wholesome American life through the use of pantomime and minimal set, allowing the focus to be on the show’s message. It is simplicity at its finest. The setting of Grover’s Corners belongs not only to the townsfolk, but also to the audience as the character of the Stage Manager frequently breaks the fourth wall. The audience is drawn into the daily life of Grover’s Corners and gets to know the townsfolk, especially the Gibbs and Webb families. The title rings true because Grover’s Corners is everybody’s town. Everyone has experienced loss like George and Emily, and the final acts emphasizes the ephemeral quality of life; nothing lasts forever. As the stars come out over Grover’s Corners and the play comes to an end, the audience is left with a reminder of life’s beauty.

by Lauren Graneto on 12/7/2015 12:28 AM

by Ira White-Kelly on 11/14/2015 8:02 AM

Our Town
This play was a great pleasure to rehearse and perform!

by Mark Rozeboom on 8/27/2015 7:12 PM

Our Town
Deceivingly simple, lightly profound, and absolutely relevant - a joy to discover again and again

by Steve Miller on 4/7/2015 10:15 PM

by Catherine Hopkins on 9/27/2014 11:51 AM

Our Town
It is often said that some plays are ageless but, under closer scrutiny, such claims are much more difficult to substantiate. Among 20th century classics Our Town must be a really strong contender for that particular accolade. It is, I feel, wonderfully rounded - all the emotions are there (and anybody dry-eyed at the end must be made of stone). Yes - the philosophy may be a little 'folksy' but that in no way detracts from its inherent truths. It manages that seeming contradiction of gentleness and dynamism and resonates with so may people on so many levels. For those still at school it represents a wonderful vehicle for big casts of varying abilities as there is nothing essential lost by young people playing considerably older roles.  It is universal in its appeal and its message is as relevant today as it was in 1938 - possibly even more so.  Am I biased> - Yes, I guess I must be - this is my fifth production of this moving and highly rewarding play. It is a consummately satisfying experience from whichever side of the proscenium arch you may be sitting (actually we play it at ground level,  almost in the round).    David Parton

by David Parton on 6/30/2014 12:03 PM

by Kolton Noreen on 1/3/2014 3:18 AM

Our Town, a classic that continues to be relevant after 75 years
The script of Our Town is always a surprise when it is performed.  It seems like an old dusty play that all high schools perform regularly because it seems "nice".  What is always a surprise at the end of Act III is how moving and profound its message is with audiences young, old and in the middle.

I've directed this play several times and it is always brand new with each cast.  It doesn't need gimmicks or special effects, just good, honest acting that portrays the universal themes Thornton Wilder has written.  

by John Sabo on 10/26/2013 11:45 PM

Our Town
Our Town continues to resonate with young people and adults 75 years after it was first performed.  It is one of those rare plays, like many of those written by William Shakespeare, in which we can find new depths and insights throughout our lives.  Wilder's characters are as fresh and alive today as when they first took the stage at the McCarter Theatre and his wisdom about people, relationships, and living life and "appreciating it while you live it" should be lessons learned in school that travel with us throughout the decades.  As we age, we can relate to older characters in the play while remembering back to our younger selves.  The voices of Wilder's characters have whispered in my ears through events large and small in my own life.  Revisiting the play with high school students, and watching them discover its richness, depths, and treasures within its simplicity, is an honor and joy.
Andrea Lee Roney, North Penn High School Theatre

by Andrea Roney on 9/24/2013 9:08 AM

Latitude 71 degrees 37', Longitude 42 degrees 40'
Grover’s Corner is one of the most well-beloved towns in all of America.  It’s easy to see why, when the town is full of such wonderful people like young Emily and George, whom we have the pleasure to watch grow up and grow older together.  The three acts form a triptych of life, from the Daily Life, to Love and Marriage, and ending, as all things do, with Death.  One leaves this story reaffirmed in one’s beliefs about love and life and family.

A story this tried-and-true might become insipid over time, but Thorton Wilder creates a captivating way to keep the simple story new: he gives the audience a narrator, the Stage Manager, and crafts around him or her a meta-architecture upon which to hang his play.  This character interacts freely with the audience and seemingly has complete control over the fourth wall, which introduces unusual and exciting options during the show.  Thus, a production team does not need to fund a full set or wardrobe if they so choose and would allow a nimble cast to work on three levels of performance.   The casting itself is inherently flexible, easily allowing for double, reduced, and/or non-traditional options.  

by Elizabeth Minski on 8/14/2013 1:52 PM

A Ladder, Some Chairs and You're There. The Beautiful Simplicity that is OUR TOWN.
A classic American drama that still resonates with audiences today, OUR TOWN is the definition of a masterpiece. Set in the fictional neighborhood of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning opus concerning the triumphs and struggles of everyday life in a “town” worthy of your frequent flier miles. It should not come as a shock that Mr. Wilder’s prose has stood the test of time, as he has flawlessly woven an intricate band of commonplace characters into a heartbreaking story that lifts the human spirit, and soothes the soul. There isn’t a falling chandelier or a flying helicopter necessary to pack the emotional punch that Mr. Wilder has already provided with his beautiful display of two families facing the hopes and hardships that go hand in hand with faith, marriage, loss and the prospect of a better tomorrow. The audience is invited to follow Emily Webb and George Gibbs as they grow up and fall in love in a town that is more than likely not too dissimilar from your own neck of the woods. Mr. Wilder’s poignant dialogue and topical discussions of how we cultivate as a community are key players as to why OUR TOWN will continue to endure and inspire amongst productions around the world. Don’t you think it’s time you made the trip?

by Kevin O'Malley on 4/30/2013 1:19 AM

The Seminal American Play
Thornton Wilder’s timelessly moving play is an undeniable hallmark of American dramatic literature. Set in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, the play begins as a simple examination of daily life. Through the guidance of the Stage Manager, the facilitating central character, the play follows the life of Emily Webb as she successes through the normal stages of life, from her early school days all the way up to her marriage to her childhood neighbor George Gibbs. While the first two acts serve as a simple but intimate portrait of human interaction, the third act truly prompts a great deal of introspection. Emily returns to life after death, only to realize that she had not fully cherished every beautiful detail of her life on earth.

Emily’s question, “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it- every, every minute?” rings inherently and eternally true. Wilder has the remarkable ability to transform an intimate, microscopic lens into a wider, telescopic lens that broadens our perspective and urges us to consider our interaction with the world around us. For that reason, Our Town will continue to be an ever relevant, formative American play.

by Gwyndolyn Ballard on 4/23/2013 1:34 AM

Set in the idyllic Grover's Corners, Thornton Wilder's masterpiece weaves together the tragic and aching tale of small town life at the turn of the century. Narrated by the sardonic and wholly omniscient Stage Manager, Our Town focuses on the life and death of Emily Webb, a typical Northeastern woman whose days are cut short. It's a simple story and far from noteworthy, but Our Town focuses on the beauty in the mundane, taking simple observations of everyday life and making them poetic and mystical.

Once considered an ancient relic doomed to a life of poor recitations in sophomore English classrooms, this tantamount play is once again getting the accolades it deserves. Featuring an ever present stage manager and limited set and props, Our Town was a fairly avant-garde production in its day. The slightly cynical and captivating view of the afterlife in act three is of grave importance, distancing the play from the folksy, saccharine reputation it undeservedly receives.

by Max Bisantz on 4/22/2013 1:36 PM