"Our Town" is a delightful, comforting production
Review by Linda Relyea
You know how it feels to settle in a comfortable chair with a good book -- that's the same feeling I had while watching "Our Town", the Adams State College Theatre Production, which opened April 30. I really connected with the play and believe the performance will please the vast majority of theatre enthusiasts.
If I was a playwright, this is the type of story I'd want to pen -- ordinary people proceeding with everyday activities, living and tending to matters without drama or severe conflicts. It's not without point or message, "Our Town", reminds us of our brief time on earth and I felt content with idea that all life and every moment has meaning and the importance of recognizing this as often as possible.
Dr. Paul Newman directed the performance and his style is evident in the smooth transitions and ease at which the performers play their parts. Bothe Kretsinger's charismatic portrayal of the stage manager feels as though you are visiting with a dear friend. I am a fan of many of our theatre students including Brittany Chowning (Myrtle Webb), David Trudeau (Charles Webb), Jacob Sorling (George Gibbs), and Kaitlyn Perham (Emily Webb) -- their natural ability and energy promotes empathy and bonding with their characters.
Jason Wells (Dr. Frank Gibbs) and Rebecca Fortner (Julia Gibbs), appearing in a major Adams State Production for the first time, are positive contributors to the play's production and message. Travis Hennager admirably portrays the empty, poignant character Simon Stimson and I was always tickled with Amanda Lovitt's (Louella Soamens) brief but memorable moments on stage.
Throughout the play, we are reminded of the fragility of life. In the last act, the dead share their perspective and outlook of the world and reference a force which weaves itself around all our thoughts and paths. Our material possessions and personal achievements don't follow us to the grave -- living fully is what truly matters.
"Our Town" shares many similarities with our town, or anybody's small town. It added to the delight of watching the play, to hear how little our opinions and mind-sets have changed since the beginning of the 20th century, the time of the play. Most of us still like knowing the "facts" about everybody, generations of families have been satisfied to stay in the same location; and the joy of simple pleasures -- like the changing seasons, watching the sun rise over a mountain, listening to birds and appreciating flower gardens.
Call now and reserve your ticket and remember to bring a donation for the Blue Star Mothers' collection for care packages to deployed military personnel.
"Our Town" written by Thornton Wilder opened at 8 p.m. Friday, April 30, on the Adams State Main Stage; and continues at 8 p.m. May 1, 6, 7, and 8; with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 2 and May 9. For reservations contact the Box Office at 719-587-8499. Tickets are $9 for general public, $7 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 12 and under, and free to Associated Students and Faculty.