Behind the scenes of fall drama “Our Town”

Photo by Tahina Joseph // Play advisor Mr. Johnson providing stage directions to actors during a rehearsal.

Have you ever noticed that the average theatrical production usually has certain norms that must be adhered to in order for that production to prosper? When it comes to “Our Town” however, playwright Thornton Wilder takes a contradicting approach that deliberately violates the traditional theatrical devices used in everyday productions. This American classic is the most popular play for high school clubs and will be presented at Westhill High School this fall.

“Our Town” is about daily life in New Hampshire, specifically focusing on two families in the 1900’s. It follows the life of Emily and Jorge, who end up falling for one another. The main theme of the play is that people don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone, often missing the smaller things that truly matter in life.

“It’s a relatable show and everyone can find a character they see themselves in,” said freshman Julia Walas. She plays Emily Webb, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Webb. “The turning point of the story is me falling in love with Jorge.” Juila did a fabulous job in a scene with Jorge Gibbs; she acted sweetly, but with a hint of awkwardness which showed her character as shy, yet ambitious. In contrast, Jorge Gibbs is a cocky person and Emily Webb tries to find the best in him, attempting to change him into a better person. These two leads have worked hard to make a perfect impression, since freshmen aren’t usually able to have lead roles. Most often than not, lead roles are payed by upperclassmen. The two other freshmen leads are Hannah Nekritz, who plays Rebecca Gibbs, and Ries Allyn, who plays Emily’s brother. They explained how much they adore the play and believe it’ll be a great experience.

“Our Town” certainly utilizes common theatrical elements, yet manages to give off a unique air. Senior stage manager Diana Splavnyk said, “It’s such an unknown play, but it came out to be amazing. It’s sure to be an intriguing show and I’m honored that this is to be my last full play.” Indeed, things aren’t only going well for the freshmen. Westhill prepares a final goodbye to seniors as well, including costume head Lauren Sands and actor Sebastian Matrullo. This play will not only be extremely fun for the cast, but will hopefully also touch the hearts of our Westhill Community, including parents, friends, and family.

“It’s really about how we live, how we love,” said advisor, director, and teacher Mr. Johnson. With a smile plastered on his face as he watched Juila Walas and Eva Misiak sharing an emotional moment on stage, Mr. Johnson concluded rehearsal with “and how we say good bye.”

The play will run November 13, 14 and 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m.. Make sure you bring tissues!

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