Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic "Our Town" opens next week for an eight-performance run at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
Directed by Patrick Spradlin, the play is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7-9 and 14-16, with 2 p.m. performances Feb. 10 and 17, all in the John Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.
Written in 1938, "Our Town" is the story of small town America, set in Grover's Corner, N.H., at the turn of the 20th century. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for letters and drama the same year.
It was Wilder's second of three Pulitzers, following the 1928 award for his novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" and preceding "The Skin of Our Teeth" award for drama in 1943.
"Our Town," told in three acts, is staged in a highly unconventional style. Played on a bare stage, the characters pantomime all objects, interact with unseen characters and respond to one another and the audience in presentational form.
The play is orchestrated and narrated by a character known as the Stage Manager, an omnipotent creation by the playwright who sets the scenes, introduces the action and moves the play along moment by moment.
Act I depicts a day in the life of the town and its citizens. Act II is titled "Love and Marriage" and is an investigation of how people fall in love, marry and move forward in their new lives.
Act III gives Wilder's view of death and the afterlife, with a moving portrayal of one character's attempts at re-living the early life she has left behind.
The cast for the area production features David Alan Pundt of Brainerd as the Stage Manager. A veteran of CLC's community-educational theater troupe, Pundt was last seen as Bob Cratchit in this year's production of "A Christmas Carol."
Bob Spear of Brainerd and Rebecca Souhrada of Crosby play Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs, one of two families highlighted in the script.
Spear last appeared on CLC's stage as Sagot the art dealer in last summer's production of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." Souhrada played Jacqueline in the farce "Don't Dress for Dinner."
The play's other central characters are the Webb family, played by Bill Musel of Brainerd, a CLC veteran, and Susan Peterson of Baxter, a newcomer. Musel has appeared in "The Wizard of Oz," "A Christmas Carol" and "Don't Dress for Dinner," among others.
Other cast members include: Jenny Sullivan, Leif Nesse, Shane Lueck, Brent Olsen, Jessica Benson and Doris Stengel, all of Brainerd; Ross Derheimer of Pequot Lakes; David Vieths of Pillager; and Jerry Peterson, Joy Larson, Joe Niklaus, Laurie and Lexie Miller, Abby Larson, Jacob Westphal, Shane and Brianna Keran, and Jeremy Christenson, all of Baxter.
Tickets, at $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, are available by calling the box office at 855-8199 or 800-933-0346.
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