Report by Framingham State University Professor Bob Alter
FRAMINGHAM – Framingham State University’s new theatre program will stage Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winner Our Town this weekend.
Playwright Edward Albee hailed Our Town as “the finest play ever written by an American.”
Our Town is performed at least once a day somewhere around the world and for three nights it will be performed in Framingham.
A beautiful play about the simple things that enrich our lives and make it meaningful, Our Town explores the very universal themes of love, family, friends, loss and community. When experienced, audiences are often surprised at how timely the play is and always will be. It has to do with human beings struggling in the massive chaotic context of the universe – is there anything more timely than that? If you think this brilliantly crafted play is merely one that feels comfortable, “like home,” and non-threatening you will be surprised to find that it can be, at times, unsettling and ironic. Wilder is dealing with humankind’s larger questions and the feeling that every living person has that – once we reach adulthood – life is going by too fast and we don’t have time to open our eyes, see it and experience it.
Young George Gibbs (Kyle Hicks) and Emily Webb (Tiffany Santiago) are full of dreams and desires.
They fall in love, marry and live out their lives in a small New England town – Grover’s Corner, NH – a microcosm of the magnificence of everyday life. The audience is welcomed into the lives of George and Emily and the diverse people of Grover’s Corners by an omniscient Stage Manager (Brandon Bledsoe) who warmly guides them on a complex journey of discovery.
Director Kate Caffrey says “ it is a very timeless play about the things in life that matter the most.
Mindfulness is a term that permeates contemporary society. Some think of mindfulness as a new concept, something that we are becoming more aware of – and yearn for – today because our lives are so full, busy and seemingly overloaded with tasks and digital information. In Our Town, Wilder explores the concept of mindfulness and one of the constant struggles that people have always faced – being present ‘in the moment.’ This seemingly simple play written almost eighty years ago is actually quite deep and rich. It has been fun for the students at Framingham State to explore and discover the many layers in the play. Like all great plays, the message touches the human heart. The struggles the characters face are so universal that everyone can find some of their own experience in the production. “
The Framingham State production is under the direction of Kate Caffrey, who are designed the sets and costumes.
Shows are November 17, 18, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dwight Performing Arts Center on the campus of Framingham State University.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com
Cast and crew includes: Brandon Bledsoe, Ben McNally, Gina Iacoviello, Kyle Bunker, Dani Umanita, Marielle Sciore of Natick, Kyle Hicks, Madison Nannery, Tiffany Santiago, Ashley Herbert, Michael Terra, Anthony Gabrielle, Tori Riley of Framingham, Brittany Yates, Bethany Norman, Brittany Caswell, Tim McDonnell, Victor Palencia, Elaria Loia, Kate Caffrey, and Erik Fox.
Photo by Framingham State University Professor Bob Alter