Department of Theatre and Cinema to perform Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town'
The Department of Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech concludes its Main Stage season performance series with Thornton Wilder’s American classic play, “Our Town.”
Performances will be April 21-25 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. in the Haymarket Theater in the Squires Student Center on the Virginia Tech campus.
“Our Town” was first published and produced in 1938. The story transpires across several decades and delves into the lives of the residents in the small fictional American town of Grover’s Corners, N.H. Wilder’s allegorical play offers timeless themes of community, family, love and loss, life and death.
Wilder describes his play in a letter to writer and colleague Gertrude Stein as, “a little play with all the big subjects in it.” In the preface to this play, Wilder also wrote about his intentions: "’Our Town’ is not offered as a picture of life in a New Hampshire village; or as a speculation of conditions of life after death. It is an attempt to find a value above all price, for smaller events in our daily life. … I have set a small village against the largest dimensions of time and place."
Andrew Belser, associate professor of theatre at Juniata College, directs the production. When asked about his approach to Wilder’s classic, Belser commented, “For this version of ‘Our Town,’ we are using Eastern European movement and clowning techniques as a way to highlight how our bodies move through daily life -- floating, falling, leaning, repeating. In the script, Thornton Wilder calls for a bare stage. This production creates a slightly different sort of empty space that can capture moving bodies in frames of shape and color. Our intent is to offer the audience a more timeless, and perhaps more contemporary, experience of this production setting the movement on a lush soundscape of music.”
Within the Juniata College Theatre Department, Belser is also the artistic director of the professional theater ensemble, The Gravity Project, a theatrical collaborative that combines teaching, collaborative creativity, and hands-on technical instruction between season theatre professionals and theatre students.
Tickets are $9 general and $7 senior/student and are available at the University Unions and Student Activities Box Office in Squires Student Center. To order tickets, call (540) 231-5615 or visit the box office online.
Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, or the Shultz Hall Lot, located off Alumni Drive near the North Main Street campus entrance. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.
Written by Alanna Malone, of Juneau, Alaska. Malone is a third-year Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Directing and Public Dialogue Program in the Department of Theatre and Cinema in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.