St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School Our TownBy Cappies • Nov 1st, 2010 • Category: Cappies
Life, love, and death are all very deep issues for a high school performance, but St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School’s production of Our Town portrayed these heavy topics with grace and ease.
Our Town, written by Thornton Wilder, is set in Grover’s Corners, a small, New Hampshire town, and follows the lives of George Gibbs, Emily Webb, and their families. The play starts with a typical day in the nineteen hundreds, but moves through time to show George and Emily’s wedding, and then later, a funeral.
The production was carried along by the Stage Managers (Matthew Mirliani, Coryn Julien, Myke Payne), whose monologues helped set the scenes of the play, making it come to life. They narrated with good energy, and did not distract from the play itself, moving into the background when needed.
Jack Tokarz portrayed the character of George Gibbs realistically, acting convincingly awkward and shy around his love interest, without making his character seem weak. He also managed to dynamically show his growing maturity towards the end of the play, as he became a man, husband, and father. In particular, his mourning towards the play’s end supplied a moving conclusion to his believable performance.
Virginia Tucker provided a truthful characterization of Emily Webb, showcasing a plethora of emotions and depth of character, as a girl, and as a young woman. She performed naturally and had good chemistry with the other actors. Her acting was especially powerful at the end of the play, as she realized what life was all about, and that no one could ever truly appreciate it.
The play relied heavily on its supporting cast, who succeeded in giving the town a great sense of realism and depth. In particular, Ian Blau, as Mr. Webb, acted strongly as a father to Emily, and as a father-in-law to George. In addition, his comedic timing gave the show a couple of laughs.
Also, Virginia Coffield delivered a natural performance as Mrs. Gibbs, acting as a protective and kind mother to George. She portrayed her character with confidence, but without going over the top. Some actors seemed to have problems with diction or accents, and some actions seemed uncomfortable, or forced, but overall, the town felt complete, and real.
The props (Megan McLean, Emma Buch) were minimalistic, which allowed the audience to focus on the actors, who relied mostly on pantomime. These pantomimes did a great job of providing atmosphere, as did the ambient sounds (Matthew Hayes, Douglas Maggs, Parker Lowe).
The music (Janet Yieh) enhanced the emotion in scenes, and was never distracting. The lights (Hallie Smith, Taylor Jensen) were also done well, setting the tone in scenes, and highlighting the important aspects. Hardly any technical glitches occurred and those that did were handled gracefully.
All in all, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School characterized Our Town‘s heavy subject matter beautifully, and managed to show a realistic and atmospheric example of life in Grover’s Corners.
Our Town will run November 6th at 7:30 p.m. as well.
by Anson Rutherford of Teens and Theatre Homeschool program
Photos by Susan Hamon.
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