I’m sure, or at least I hope, many of you saw the fall production of “Our Town.” If not, here is a brief summary. The play, written by Thornton Wilder, follows the story of a small town in New Hampshire, and specifically the story of two young people as they fall in love. Each person in the town plays an integral part as the characters experience love, death, and the everyday parts of life which make everyone’s life a little bit the same, and a little bit different.
While it may have looked effortless on stage, the process of readying a play is a complex and stressful one. From the very first audition, which I sincerely thought I botched, to callbacks, to the anxious wait for the posting of the cast list, it almost seems as if a play is simply a series of anxiety-ridden events. While this is true, it is important that I don’t forget to mention that every minute of the process is, for lack of a better word, fun.
The first rehearsal is always a little bit awkward. You show up, you get your script, and you try to find your place among the craziness that is the cast. Everybody is looking at you, and you are looking at them. You laugh as you imagine Katrina Hough as your mom and Casey Bates as a drunk organ player.
Then comes the absolute insanity of costumes. I tried on just over one billion different costumes before finding the perfect one. That’s an exaggeration, but it can certainly feel that way. From overalls, to floor length skirts, to absolutely hilarious brown turtlenecks, “Our Town” definitely had quite a variety of costumes.
There is one thing more time consuming than costumes: learning your lines. Regardless of whether you have 14 monologues or 14 words to say, memorizing your lines is a daunting task. I, for one, was completely overwhelmed by the endless stream of words that I had to commit to memory in just five weeks, and there were some actors who had quite a bit more to learn.
Despite the arduous tasks of learning lines, finding costumes, and memorizing blocking, I would not trade those five weeks for anything. My reasoning behind this is entirely based on the people whom I was privileged enough to spend hours and hours with. This might just be my favorite part of theatre. While it is exhilarating to perform in front of family, friends, teachers, and peers, the relationships built during the process are ones I will never forget and always cherish. The silliness of sophomore Keenan Peery, the intriguing loveliness of senior Cayden Ehrlich, and the unrelenting kindness of junior Chris Burton, all turned “Our Town” into something much more than a play; they turned it into some of the happiest times of my life. In the words of Thornton Wilder, “Happiness–that’s the great thing. The important thing is to be happy.”
Hope you enjoyed the show,