In their second collaboration, the Modesto Junior College Theatre Department and Gallo Center for the Arts will present Thornton Wilder’s classic 1938 comedy/drama “Our Town.”
Directed by MJC Theater Professor Michael Lynch, the story follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three distinct acts. The first act is a glimpse into the daily life of the town’s denizens. The second act follows the courtship and marriage of George Gibbs and Emily Webb. In the third act, Wilder explored the concepts of death and eternity. Narrated by a stage manager, played by Jim Johnson, MJC dean emeritus and Gallo Arts education coordinator, the audience will follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and eventually — in one of the most famous scenes in American theater—die.
This unique production of “Our Town” will be performed with a mixed cast of 20 community and MJC student actors including Bev Barney as Mrs. Gibbs, Mike Hewitt as Doc Gibbs, Robin Bjerke as Mrs. Webb, Dean Medek as Mr. Webb, and Stefani Potter and Alexandre Goncalves as the two young lovers, who marry and experience the cycle of life.
Wilder’s concept for the stage play broke with the theatrical traditions of the day. The stage manager is completely aware of the audience and often breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to them. Wilder also insisted the play be done with minimal props and sets. The play debuted in 1938 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that year. "Our Town" was once described by playwright Edward Albee as "probably the finest play ever written by an American."
The play will be performed at 8 p.m. March 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. March 15 and 16 at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Ticket prices are $10, $15 and $20, and may be purchased online at www.galloarts.org, by calling 338-2100, or from the Gallo Center ticket office at 1000 I Street in downtown Modesto.