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.