‘Our Town’ at Zao Theatre in Apache Junction March 29-April 13

Zao Theatre in Apache Junction is proud to present “Our Town,” Thornton Wilder’s most celebrated play, March 29-April 13.

“Our Town” opened on Broadway in 1938, received a Pulitzer Prize for drama, and, then, went on to become one of the most frequently performed American plays of the 20th century.

It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its towns’ people.

The play opens as the stage manager introduces the audience Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and the people living there as a typical every day morning begins in 1901. Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk and the Webb and Gibbs households are busy sending their children off to school on this beautifully simple morning.

Throughout the performance, Mr. Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, (playing directly to the audience) setting the play in the actual theatre where it is being performed.

The main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience and fills in playing some of the roles.

The play is presented without a set on a primarily empty stage. And with a few exceptions, the actors pantomime their actions without the use of props.

In Mr. Wilder’s day, it was fashionable for plays to expose the hypocrisy of American life, with focus on the precious moments in everyday life. However, such is not the case with “Our Town.” (Keep in mind that in 1938 Europe was experiencing political chaos that eventually led to the outbreak of World War II). The play allows us to share more genteel times as it follows the lives of two young neighbors in this small town, Emily and George, falling in love with all the ramifications of that growing-up experience.

To find out how it all turns out, you’ll just have to join us in Grover’s Corner, America’s “everywhere town,” USA, on the Zao Theatre stage.

This is a show the entire family can enjoy. For tickets and information call 480-924-5122 or go to zaotheatre.com. Zao Theatre is at 550 S. Ironwood Dr. in Apache Junction.

Editor’s note: Hank Sheffer is publicity director for Zao Theatre in Apache Junction.

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