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Our Town (1995)

May 11-14, 1995

Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, Charlottetown Written by: Thornton Wilder Director: David Sherren Stage Manager: Wallena Higgins Cast: Stage Manager: Doug Huskilson Prof Willard: Blaine Hrabi Dr. Gibbs: Gerry Gray Mrs. Gibbs: Karen Swanson George Gibbs: Greg Stapleton Rebecca Gibbs: Melissa Vloet Mr. Webb: Rob Thomson Mrs. Webb: Barbara Rhodenhizer Emily Webb: Jennifer Anderson Wally Webb: Alison Ling Constable Warren: Eugene Sauvé Howie Newson: Ed Rashed Joe Stoddard: Ben Kinder Sam Craig: Ryan Callaghan Mrs. Soames: Doreen Bears Simon Stimson: Allie McCrady Joe Crowell: Joey Weale

This was ACT’s very first show. Following a Christmas show at the Confederation Centre, some participants led by Gerry Gray and David Sherren formed the company to mount this American classic. That was partly because it would be inexpensive: seven or eight people each put $25 down on the table to cover the up-front cost of the set — two step-ladders. With gentle good humour, Our Town explores the universal by presenting the commonplace in everyday small-town life … and that community flavour meant kinship with our Prince Edward Island society. The play employed the novel method of having the ‘Stage Manager’ character as a narrator-commentator, speaking directly to the audience to tell about the town, and furnishing everything from stage props to sage commentary. It works on an appeal to our imagination: with just the narration of the ‘Stage Manager’, some sound and lighting effects, mime, and the minimal set -- a few chairs and a couple of step-ladders -- two family homes and a main street come alive, and we experience the life-rituals of birth, marriage and death. Buzz reviewer Sean McQuaid called ACT’s inaugural production “the best piece of theatre I’ve seen in town this year.” “With any luck,” he said, “Our Town is only the first of many ACT productions in our town.” And so it was.

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