PCC’s Production of Our Town Highlights Theater Department’s Strong Ties
by Lex Rule
PCC Sylvania’s Winter production, Our Town, opens this month. On the surface, this award-winning classic by Thornton Wilder is about the everyday lives of two families, the Gibbs and the Webbs, living in a small American town called Grover’s Corner—but at its core, it’s a story about everyone and how sometimes, the little things are the big things.
The play is set at the turn of the twentieth century, but director and PCC alumnus Jonathan Walters believes it offers people a friendly reminder for today.
“2020 is a year where Americans don’t [always] feel like we’re all in the same town or a person isn’t welcome in our town by their skin color, their presence or their politics… this play really says that if we pay attention, we can find the humanness [sic] in all of us,” Walters said.
Emily Veenstra, who plays the stage manager in the second act of the show, agrees that “through its humanity, it’s very big and important in itself because it focuses on something that is so small but so big to all of us individually.” With a simple script and minimalist set design, these underlying themes will be easy for any viewer to identify and focus on. Audiences can expect to be fully immersed in the story, figuratively and literally, as they will also be seated thrust style: on three sides of the stage and closer to the actors.
Our Town has already inspired the cast members to reflect on themselves and their own lives. Sarah Deyoung, who plays Mr. Webb as Mrs. Webb (a modern twist to the character), is reminded that “every moment that we have is important, and it’s okay for it to be important.”
Sophia Ekdahl draws similarities between herself and her character, Emily Webb, “everything that people say to me matters and I judge my own character in real life on what people say and how they feel. [Emily] is connected to everyone who’s around her and they all play a big part.” A sense of community is evident not only in the story of Our Town but in PCC’s theater department in general.
Levi Schmid, who plays George Gibbs, has now been in three PCC productions and says, “the theatre department is not a secret society that you have zero access to. [It’s] such an accepting, welcoming community… I want anyone interested to know that they can join by working on the set, in costumes, ushering, [or] auditioning for the next play.”
Our Town runs from March 6th to 15th in PCC Sylvania’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale at the PCC bookstore, or the box office door an hour before the show (cash or check only).
- Friday, March 6, 7pm
- Saturday, March 7, 7pm – audio description accessible performance
- Thursday, March 12, 11am – pay what you wish matinee
- Friday, March 13, 7pm
- Saturday, March 14, 7pm – sign language interpreted
- Sunday, March 15, 2pm
- $5 All students, PCC staff, veterans, and seniors
- $10 general admission