April 11, 2002
Thorton Wilder's American classic "Our Town" will appear on stage for the next two weeks at Oklahoma Baptist University's Sarkeys Theatre.
The show will run April 18, 19, 20, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28 at 2:30 p.m. The well-known play depicts the struggle between everyday life and finding true happiness in the New Hampshire village of Grover's Corners.
OBU's production is directed by Joyce Aldridge, OBU assistant professor of theatre.
"Our Town" debuted at Henry Miller's Theatre in New York on Feb. 4, 1938. It created a sensation, not only for the tenderness of the characters and the play itself, but because the production was a distinct departure from the naturalistic style of theatre.
Not the first drama to be set on a bare stage, "Our Town" was the first in which the absence of setting represented an entire town and the characters represented a large cross-section of citizens. The Stage Manager, the play's star, sets the stage in the minds of the audience, and prepares a mood of bittersweet nostalgia.
The first production had a successful run of 336 performances, even in the early post-depression era. The success of the play that year was enhanced by the announcement that it had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in playwriting.
The role of the Stage Manager is played by Jack C. Hays, a local professional actor.
OBU student roles include Dr. Gibbs, played by Brandon Rister Roye, a senior from Jenks; Howie Newsome, played by Josh Peterson, a senior from Duncanville, Texas; Mrs. Gibbs played by Cheryl Sartain Lowber, a junior from Tyler, Texas; and Mrs. Webb, played by Tiffanie Pearce, a sophomore from Wichita, Kan.
Other OBU student roles are George Gibbs, played by Matthew Packer, a sophomore from Singapore; Emily Webb, played by Christy Janae Hall, a sophomore from Shattuck; Rebecca Gibbs, played by Shekinah Rogers, a sophomore from Katy, Texas; Wally Webb, played by Aaron Kelley, a sophomore from Yukon; and Mr. Webb, played by Michael Clack, a senior from Moore.
Simon Stimson is played by Lucas Roeschley, a junior from Shawnee; Mrs. Soames is played by Kelli Kiser, a senior from Edmond; Joe Crowell is played by Rex Daugherty, a freshman from Oklahoma City; and Professor Willard is played by Rose Bacorn, a sophomore from Wright City; Sam Craig is played by Breeman Ainsworth, a sophomore from Bozman, Mont.; and Joe Stoddard is played by Will Ledesma, a freshman from Wellington, Kan.
Tickets are $7. Call OBU's office of communication arts at 878-2347 to make reservations.