Edge, Reviews, Theater

‘Our Town’ shows importance of life’s little lessons

[imagebrowser id=30] [fresh_divider style=”solid”]

Most of us rarely stop to smell the roses. In an attempt to make us do so, student actors from the University of Miami are putting on a moving production of the award-winning play, “Our Town.”

The three-act play was first shown at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 1998. Written by Thorton Wilder, the show has become a success on Broadway and won a variety of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Revival.

Co-directed by Bruce Miller and Christine Kellogg, the play takes place in a fictional small town, Grovers Corner, in New Hampshire during the early 20th Century. The show focuses on ordinary people living from 1901 to 1913. The narrator of the show directly addresses the audience as if she is telling a story.

In the final play of her collegiate career, Maggie Weston shines as the narrator. Her voice resonates as she pulls people into the show while making consistent eye contact with the audience.

In act one, the audience is introduced to the townspeople as they go about everyday life. Mothers cook and call for their children, who complain about not knowing what to wear. The characters of Emily and George, two children in the town, are introduced. The audience was amused by the two as they acted out the quirks of teenage life.

The theme of act two revolves around the idea of “first comes love then comes marriage,” as characters Emily and George fall in love. George, played by junior acting major Tim Bell, is just another small town boy marrying a small town girl, but he challenges the audience’s perceptions on what’s more important – college or relationships. Bell captured the difficulties of young love, though sometimes the lines didn’t seem true to real life.

The sound effects throughout the show played an important role. Actors used limited props, often holding invisible objects. The different sounds, like the sound of cabinet doors squeaking and peas snapping, helped to solidify the imagery.

The last act of the play takes place after some of the characters have died. It gives insight into what life after death may be like and spotlights the lessons that are learned in hindsight. This scene is what helps to tie the play together.

Junior Schyler Rice, a BFA musical theatre major, plays Emily, who is deceased in the third act. After coming to the conclusion that she never fully recognized the importance of the little things in life, she poses the question, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?”

The answer, which the narrator provides, is no.

One of the most notable aspects of the show was the consistency of the actors. Even when they were not in the spotlight, none of them broke character. This made the show believable and kept the audience intrigued.

“Our Town” is a unique interpretation of what Americans take for granted throughout their lives. The normalcy of the characters helps audience members relate to the show’s message: to appreciate the simple things.

If You Go:

“Our Town”

When: Runs through Saturday

Cost for students: Free on Tuesday, $8 on weekdays, $12 on the weekend

For tickets, visit the Ring Theatre box office or website. For more information visit, as.miami.edu/ringtheatre.

April 20, 2014


Nadijah Campbell

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

A heap of preseason accolades are being showered daily on the University of Miami football players. ...

James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of ...

A classic good news/bad news scenerio arose for Miami Hurricanes football at the recent Atlantic Coa ...

The University of Miami football players are not the only ones getting preseason accolades. The guys ...

Defending national champ Clemson led all Atlantic Coast Conference schools Wednesday with five playe ...

Value in the Era of Analytics ...

Summer Creative Writing Camp Inspires Young Writers to Release Their Emotions Onto the Page. ...

Gomez, an expert on human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba, will serve as interim director o ...

The University of Miami announced the appointment of Cindy Munro as the new dean of the School of Nu ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.