DETROIT— On Friday October, 11 the Bonstelle Theatre opens the 2013-14 season with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Deemed, “the finest American play ever written,” by the esteemed playwright and director Edward Albee, this story illuminates profound truths about the human condition by following two unexceptional families living unremarkable lives in small town America. Observing the everyday endeavors of life, love, and death reveals that these simple feats are indeed the very essence of life itself. Tickets are $15-$20 and are available by calling (313) 577-2960, visiting http://www.bonstelle.com, or the Wayne State University Theatre Box Office located at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.
Wilder’s classic drama is a watershed in American theatre that is a touching and thoughtful look at life’s extraordinary journey. Our Town’s numerous Broadway and professional productions have secured its prominence on the national and international stage. Winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, its artistic durability was again confirmed in 1989 when Our Town received both the Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Revival of a Play.
The iconic character of the Stage Manager acts as the narrator and speaks candidly to the audience while also interacting with the other characters in Wilder’s fictional Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. This is one of the most famous examples of metatheatre, a theatrical device where a performer is openly aware of the fictional setting of the play. Director Dr. James Thomas’ production at the Bonstelle highlights this separation by placing the Stage Manager in the present and using him as a link to bridge the gap between the audience and the performance. The collaborative design team uses elements from scenery, props, and costume pieces to signify the Stage Manager’s existence in both worlds.
Our Town is a beautiful and touching show that explores the everyday struggles of life, love, and loss as the characters wrestle with the fragility of the time they share together. This production’s run is limited to two weekends and closes Sunday, October 20, 2013.