Our Town

Appleseed Productions opens its 15th season with Our Town, Thornton Wilder’s classic America Drama. The production runs Sept. 7 through 22 – Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. All performances take place at Appleseed’s home on the Atonement Stage in Syracuse’s Valley section at 116 West Glen Ave.
The play, which opened on Broadway in 1938 and won the Pulitzer Prize, begins without fanfare. Before the audience has opened their programs, the Stage Manager (Alexander Ross) appears onstage and sets the minimal furniture. Eventually the houselights go down and he begins to speak to the audience about Grover’s Corners, NH and its inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century.
The stage manager is an omniscient being; he knows everything that has and will happen. He moves the play and the audience backwards and forward in time. At one moment in Act II we are watching George getting ready for the wedding and in the very next scene the audience is whisked back in time to be shown how George and Emily came to this day. Through the Stage Manager, Wilder brings the play from the trivial to the profound by showing us that nothing in our lives is unimportant; we are as significant as the Universe. When asked what the play was about, the playwright replied that he tried to “find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily lives.”
Act I starts as a normal day in Grover’s Corners as we meet some of its residents: Mrs. Gibbs (Leah Morrell), Mrs. Webb (Suzanne Tiffault), the paperboy (Jordan Westfall), the milkman (Jim Corbett), Dr. Gibbs (Joe Pierce), organist and town drunk Simon Stimson (John Barrett), Emily Webb (Katelyn Remington), George Gibbs (Mark Weatherup), Professor Willard (Paul Gundersen), and publisher and editor Mr. Webb (Bill White), among others.
In Act II, which is titled “Love and Marriage,” watch George and Emily’s romance blossom into love. The Stage Manager flashes back to the day at the soda shop when “they knew they were meant for each other” and then brings us back to the present day and their glorious wedding.
And Act III brings the story full circle of life when it tackles the subject of death.
Wilder borrows his theatricality from many forms of theater history: the ancient Greek theater used a chorus to narrate parts of the play and react to situations presented. Wilder uses the Stage Manager in the same capacity: to address the audience and explain his various philosophies as he sets up and reacts to the situations of everyday life. So come and witness for yourself the magic of Our Town; let the characters touch and move you as they work through situations as familiar to us as our daily activities. It may change your life.
The production staff is led by award-winning director Sharee Lemos and includes set designer Joe Pierce; lighting designer Jon Wilson; stage manager Barry Nicholas; scenic artists Katelyn Remington and Rose Viviano; costumer Debra Ritchey and CNY Costumes; and assistant costumer Becky Harris.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, and may be purchased online at or by calling Appleseed at 492-9766. Group rates are available for parties of 8 or more by contacting artistic Jon Wilson at Appleseed.

Rating: 1.8/5 (11 votes cast)

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