PBD Press Release
Press Contact: Samantha Mighdoll - 561.514.4042 x109 - SMighdoll@palmbeachdramaworks.org

Palm Beach Dramaworks
Launches Fifteenth Anniversary Season with

Thornton Wilder's

Our Town

2014-2015 Season opens on October 10

Our Town, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Thornton Wilder that playwright Edward Albee has called "probably the finest play ever written by an American," launches Palm Beach Dramaworks' fifteenth anniversary season on Friday, October 10 (8pm) at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre. Performances continue through November 9, with specially priced previews on October 8 and 9. 

Set in the fictional New Hampshire town of Grover's Corners, Our Town is a joyous, heartbreaking piece that celebrates the beauty of ordinary life. An omniscient Stage Manager guides the audience and the actors through the play, which focuses on the Webb and Gibbs families, particularly on the evolving relationship between Emily Webb and George Gibbs as they experience friendship, love, marriage, birth, and death. The original 1938 production was played on an almost bare stage, as per Wilder's instructions, and subsequent productions have kept scenery and props to a minimum as he wished, to underscore the universality of the play.
 

Our Town, directed by J. Barry Lewis,will showcase the largest ensemble ever assembled by PBD and feature many actors who have played a vital role in the company's history. The cast of 20 includes Colin McPhillamy (Stage Manager), Kenneth Kay (Dr. Gibbs), Elizabeth Dimon (Mrs. Gibbs), Quinn Coughlin (George Gibbs), Patti Gardner (Mrs. Webb), Dan Leonard (Mr. Webb), Emiley Kiser (Emily Webb), and Margery Lowe (Mrs. Soames), as well as Michael Collins, John Felix, Cliff Goulet, Dave Hyland, Hal Johnstone, Char Plotsky, Allie Beltran, Joe Ferrarelli, Sawyer Hyatt, Joshua Stoughton, Leandre Thivierge, and Patrick A. Wilkinson. Scenic and lighting design are by Paul Black, costume design is by Robin L. McGee, and sound design is by Matt Corey

Our Town, which is quite possibly the most performed play written by an American, was first produced at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ on January 22, 1938, and went on to Broadway two weeks later. Frank Craven was the Stage Manager; Wilder subbed for him for two weeks during the run and returned to the role several times in summer stock. Martha Scott made her Broadway debut in the original production as Emily Webb and subsequently played the role again in a 1940 film opposite William Holden as George Gibbs (Craven was again the Stage Manager), and a 1944 Broadway revival with Montgomery Clift as George. Other notable Stage Managers include Henry Fonda, Spalding Gray, Don Ameche, Paul Newman, and Hal Holbrook. There was also a 1955 musical adaptation for television, with Frank Sinatra as the Stage Manager, Eva Marie Saint as Emily, and Newman as George. (Wilder, it is said, was not impressed.) Most recently, a 2009 off-Broadway production directed by David Cromer received wide critical acclaim. Cromer also played the role of the Stage Manager; among his successors in the role was Helen Hunt.

 

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was a playwright and novelist, and a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to his 1938 Pulitzer for Our Town, he won the prize in 1928 for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and in 1943 for the play The Skin of Our Teeth. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, he received his B.A. from Yale and an M.A. in French from Princeton. By the time he graduated from Yale, he had published more than 30 pieces, including plays, fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and essays. In 1924 he had his first residency at the MacDowell Colony, which nurtures artists in all fields. It's located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, which would become the inspiration for Grover's Corners. Wilder wrote numerous one-act plays and six full-length plays includingThe Matchmaker, which was later adapted for the musical stage as Hello, Dolly!. He also received a screenwriter's credit for the classic Alfred Hitchcock film, Shadow of a Doubt
 
Photos for Download 
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HI-RES 300 dpi

Colin McPhillamy
Colin
McPhillamy
Kenneth Kay
Kenneth
Kay
Elizabeth Dimon
Elizabeth
Dimon
Dan Leonard
Dan
Leonard
Patti Gardner
Patti
Gardner
Quinn Coughlin
Quinn
Coughlin
Emiley Kiser
Emiley
Kiser


Our Town

 artwork by Fraver

 


 

 

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