A12 Our Town cast.jpg

‘Our Town’ cast members, gathered around Stage Manager Gary Young, at center: Seated, from left, Joseph Durham, Kristin Fox, Emily Fitzgerald and Justin Fox; standing, from left: Stage manager Adrian Chaton, Richard Withers, Pam Riedl, Kathy Williams, Garry Estep, Bill Weiler, Janelle Child, Neil Hass, Lorre Chester-Rea, Paul Pennington, Kirby Neumann-Rea and stage manager Dell Charity.

A select list of plays have been performed more than once on Hood River stages over the years. They include the upcoming “The Vagina Monologues,” the next Judie Hanel Presents production, scheduled for this spring (Hanel’s third time with the Eve Ensler show since 2005) “Oklahoma,” “Les Miserables” and “A Christmas Carol” (various versions).

And “Our Town.”

The Plays for Non-Profits Production, director Lynda Dallman’s last, wraps up this weekend with 7:30 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday at Adult Center Theater, on the Heights, at Hood River Valley Adult Center.

Dallman directs “Our Town” for the fourth time in her career and the second time in 13 years, at Adult Center Theater. It was last seen in Hood River in 2006 at Columbia Center for the Arts. Tom Penchoen and Gary Johnson took turns as Stage Manager back then. (Full disclosure: My wife, Lorre, and I both return from 2006 in our roles as Mr. and Mrs. Webb.)

“Our Town” is a  three-act-play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901-1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens.

Dallman points out that throughout, Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, setting the play in the actual theater where it is being performed. The main character is the Stage Manager (Gary Young) of the theater, who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience and fills in playing some roles.

Several actors play multiple roles, including 13-year-old Kristin Fox and her brother Justin, 10, and Richard Withers.

The play is performed without a set on a mostly bare stage. With a few exceptions, the actors mime actions without the use of props.

“Our Town” was first performed at McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J., in 1938. It later went on to success on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It remains popular today and revivals are frequent and performed world-wide, Dallman noted.

Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) was a pivotal figure in the literary history of the 20th-century. He is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama. He received the Pulitzer for his novel “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” (1927) and the plays “Our Town” (1938) and “The Skin of Our Teeth” (1942).

Cast and crew

Acting company (in order of appearance):

Stage Manager, Gary Young

Dr. Gibbs, Richard Withers

Joe Crowell, Justin Fox

Nellie Newsome, Janelle Child

Mrs. Gibbs, Pam Riedl

Mrs. Webb, Lorre Chester-Rea

George Gibbs, Joseph Durham

Rebecca Gibbs, Kristin Fox

Wally Webb, Justin Fox

Emily Webb, Emily Fitzgerald

Professor Willard, Tom Pettigrew

Simon Stimson, Bill Weiler

Mrs. Soames, Kathy Williams

Constable Warren, Neil Hass

Si Crowell, Justin Fox

Joe Stoddard, Richard Withers

Sarah Craig, Kristin Fox

Production Team

Director/Producer: Lynda Dallman 

Stage Manager/Props: Adrian Chaton, Dell Charity

Set Construction: James Holloway, Richard Withers

Technical Director/ Lighting: Ken Jacobs, Liz Siller

Sound:  Peter Dallman

Photography: Denise Rehse Watson

House Manager: Barbara Young

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