|Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (April 8, 2016) — The Shaw Festival’s 55th season begins Saturday at 2 p.m. with the first preview of Thornton Wilder’s beloved play Our Town. Molly Smith, artistic director of Washington, D.C’s Tony award-winning Arena Stage, returns to The Shaw to breathe vivid, new life into this classic piece of theatre – a talent she displayed so brilliantly in her production of My Fair Lady in 2011.
Inspired by the unassuming simplicity in Wilder’s work, set designer Ken MacDonald, costume designer William Schmuck, and lighting designer Kimberly Purtell have created a Grover’s Corners that stays true to the minimalism of the original, yet fully embraces Smith’s vision of it. Sound and music by composer and sound designer James Smith completes the portrait of this small every-town.
The journey through Wilder’s deep contemplation on love, family, marriage and death begins with the Stage Manager (Benedict Campbell). As the audience’s companion and guide, he introduces the town of Grover’s Corners and its residents: Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs (Patrick Galligan, Catherine McGregor); their son George Gibbs (Charlie Gallant); Mr. and Mrs. Webb (Patrick McManus, Jenny L. Wright) and their daughter Emily Webb (Kate Besworth). The families’ relationships are explored throughout the years, as the romance blossoms between George and Emily. Our Town serves as a reminder that the preciousness of living is found in the small, insignificant details of daily life.
This beautiful ensemble piece also features Tess Benger, Sharry Flett, Jeff Irving, Peter Millard and David Schurmann.
Our Town is on stage at the Royal George Theatre (85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from April 9 to October 15 (opening May 12).
Our Town is sponsored by Gabriel Pascal Memorial Fund.
Cast: (in alphabetical order)