During November, the Fairmont community will have the opportunity to experience a timeless story with a twist, as the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts and Masquers theatre group present “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Wallman Hall Theatre. Tickets are $13 for general admission and free for Fairmont State and Pierpont Community & Technical College students with their student ID. To order tickets, call (304) 367-4240.
As “Our Town” is one of the most frequently produced plays in the world, Director Jeffrey Ingman uses the technique of “echoing” to make his production stand apart from the original. Through shadowed features, actions and symbols, Ingman accents the seen and unseen themes of the show and helps reveal the true spirit of the play.
“Everything is an echo in life,” Ingman says. “We, as people, are not that special but we each get to experience special moments. It is our job to not numb ourselves and really take in and actually live the moments while we are in them.”
Set in a metaphorical town called Grovers Corners in New Hampshire, the story is narrated by The Stage Manager who has the power to manipulate time and control the characters. The show features pantomiming and sprinkles props to emphasize the human experience and relationship.
Within the play are three distinct acts: Daily Life; Love and Marriage; and Death and Dying. Act one shows the daily life of the characters in town, from the paperboy making his rounds to the wives sending their kids off to school and then gossiping in the garden. The audience also gets to witness the first sparks of romance. This romance is carried on into the second act, which focuses on a marriage and a flashback of how the relationship began. The final act is one of loss and mourning during a funeral and a visit back in time from the dead.
“The play reminds us that we are a part of a much larger fabric of existence, that we are part of a time continuum of human events and experiences. In other words we have a history that echoes through time and makes us what we are today,” Ingman says.
A cast of 21 comprises the ensemble for “Our Town.” The Stage Manager, serving as the play’s narrator, is Brad Six. Loralee Simpson, playing Emily Webb, and James Wilson, playing George Gibbs, tell the story of a young courtship and through their interaction many of the play’s themes are revealed. Supporting cast members include: Kelly Blake as Mrs. Forrest; Rennes Carbaugh as Howie Newsome; Isaac Covey as Simon Stimson; Kathleen Groover as Mrs. Soames; Tyler Johnson as Joe and Si Crowell; Dr. Francene Kirk as Mrs. Gribbs; Brandon Lee as Mr. Webb; Jay Lindsay as Constable Warren; Dr. James Matthews as Dr. Gibbs; Melissa McDaniel as Wally Webb; Brandon Rose as Frank McCarthy; Jennifer Scholtz as Samantha Craig; Cara Simms as Rebecca Gibbs; M. Lanette Six as Mrs. Webb; and Kate Thompson as Professor Willard. Additional choir members include: Pamela Chatman, Stephen Phillips and Hannah Weakley.