Story & Photograph By Luke Quezada
The drama department’s production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town was a huge success, selling out the little theatre on four of the five days it ran. The engaging performance debuted on Friday, December 2 and marked the first production produced by Mr. Nick Hoffa and directed by Mr. Daniel Enright, unlike previous year’s productions that utilized a student directing alongside Mr. Enright.
Our Town centers around the lives of George Gibbs, played by freshman Jackson Monical, and Emily Webb, played by senior Alana Carmona and sophomore Rachel Lu. George and Emily are followed throughout everyday life, love and loss. Each act tackles a separate theme, focusing on the Gibbs and Webb families as they go about their lives.
The performance maintained a small town feel, one that resonated with the South Pasadena audience. Adianna Paul’s portrayal of Joanna Crowell, a high school mail carrier, was one of several relatable secondary characters that was as believable as they were compelling. That coupled with frequent audience interaction created a story that was identifiable as well as enjoyable.
With a limited set and few props, the viewer’s imagination painted the streets of Grover’s Corners. The few that were used were incorporated smoothly into the performance, creating a very attractive set.
Junior Anders Keith’s Stage Manager was by far the most impressive aspect of the production. Keith, who has starred in several other shows at SPHS, held a role that guides the audience through the story. From the moment he walked onstage to the conclusion of the third act, Keith perfectly captured the spirit of his character and commanded a strong stage presence as he narrated the story of Grover’s Corners. In every act, Keith’s performance helped to convey the mood of the characters and impart the magnitude of the plot.
Sophomore Lindsey Calva also delivered in her role of Mrs Webb. Calva portrayed a housewife and a mother while maintaining an aura of confidence and strength. Calva was powerful in her role, evoking a mother that lived, loved, feared and grieved as a mother would.
Our Town did not draw heavily on visuals, dance numbers, songs, or elaborate costumes, but instead relied on the talent of actors and actresses and the reliability of the story. Themes of romance, existence and tragedy took center stage, while issues of alcoholism, education, and small town gossip are weaved in throughout. The carefully selected cast and crew perfectly captured the play’s numerous mature topics.
“Being a part of the production was such a wonderful experience,” junior Morgan Bevard, who played Mrs. Gibbs, said. “Being able to tell this story with all of the new friends I made was a beautiful adventure. We made many memories, which will be treasured by all of us.”