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OUR TOWN (article first published : 2004-03-22)

The Hilton College production for the first term in 2004 is Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Our Town which was first performed in 1938. In three acts the play covers events in the lives of two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs in the imaginary town of Grover’s Corner in New Hampshire in the USA in the years 1901 to 1913.

Although on one level it is an affectionate re-creation of a vanished life-style that of small–town America, it also deals with the central elements of all human life, namely work, family life and reproduction and death in an effort, to quote Thornton Wilder himself “ to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life.” The play chronicles the life and loves of George Gibbs and Emily Webb in particular but also captures the flavour of life in Grover’s Corner as representative of life in general.

Although fundamentally a serious play, it is neither ponderous nor humourless in tone and incident. It includes elements of both pathos and tragedy without becoming overly sentimental, as is so often the case in American popular entertainment. With a cast of 22, it offers a lot of scope for schoolboy and schoolgirl actors, and the cast for this production will be made up by Hilton pupils in conjunction with those from St Anne’s Diocesan College.

Our Town is an exceptionally popular play frequently put on at all levels of theatrical production from schools to Broadway and is one of the texts studies by IEB drama students on a regular basis.

Performances take place from March 23 to 25 at 19h30. Tickets R20. Bookings on 033 383 0126.




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