Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oddfellows opens Our Town

In its 37 years of existence, Oddfellows Playhouse has never staged Thorton Wilder’s classic play Our Town.  Until now.  The Teen Repertory Company brings the influential work to the Oddfellows’ stage May 11-12, 17-19.  The production received special support from the Middlesex County Community Foundation.

Our Town tells the story of the average citizens of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire during the years of 1901 through 1913.  When the play premiered in 1938, the narrative and storytelling devices employed by Wilder and central charater, the Stage Manager were a completely different approach to the theater of its time.  The meta-theatrical elements shaped drama for decades to come. 
"To me, Our Town's lasting meaning is most clearly illustrated through the character's ties to one another and their community. In each act, the singing of the hymn "Blessed be the Ties That Bind" highlights the character's bonds that exist in family, love, and death. Whether coming from a small town like Grovers Corners or a large city, we are bound by our personal relationships and connections to our community” said Director Missy Burmeister. 
The play centers around the story of two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs and their children’s journey from childhood to adulthood as they question “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?”

 “Many students were surprised when we added Our Town to the Oddfellows season.  This is not a simple, vanilla story.  This is an exploration of some of the most important experiences many of us will be lucky to have in our lives--falling in love, marriage, and saying goodbye.  In a very basic, yet very profound way, we are asking the actors and audience to honestly evaluate what their life has been and what it will be.” said Executive Director Matthew Pugliese. 

The production runs May 11-12, 17-19  All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 for Adults and $8 for Students/Seniors.  Anyone brining a canned food item for Amazing Grace Food Pantry will receive a $2 discount on their ticket.  Tickets are available online at or by calling 860-347-6143. 

The production is made possible by major support from CT State Department of Education, CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, The Stare Fund, Pratt & Whitney, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and Daphne Sebolt Culpeper Foundation.   Media support provided by Comcast and WESU 88.1FM.  Special support from the Middlesex County Community Foundation and Tower Laboratories.

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