Duke of York's Royal Military School

Our Town

Published on isbi School News dated Tuesday 5th of November 2013

Pupils from Oundle School's Fifth Form recently put on an amateur production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town which played to enthusiastic audiences.

Our Town is a seminal American play about everyday life in a small town in New Hampshire, set in the early 1900s. The fictional town of Grover's Corners tells the story of an average town's citizens depicted through their everyday lives. Scenes from the town's history between the years of 1901 and 1913 are performed, with the Stage Manager as narrator.

Director and Drama teacher, Kathryn Francis commented, 'In this particular performance I decided to cast three separate Stage Managers in order to portray the different tones and themes of each act. The play is performed with minimal set and without props and relies on the miming skills of the performer to draw the audience in. It is essentially about the fact that humans are powerless to stem the advance of time, while pondering whether they truly appreciate the precious nature of a transient life. As Emily Gibbs, recently deceased in childbirth, asks the Stage Manager, 'Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?�every, every minute?

The Fifth Form cast of twenty-two, having only had a limited life experience so far, rose to the challenge of a play which explores philosophical questions about life, marriage and death all in one go. Standout performances were Hugo Beazley (16), Francis Perumatantri (15) and Sarah Wells (15) as the three Stage Managers. Susannah Gillespie (15) and Tom Younger (15) as Emily and George successfully created a warm and infectious relation as the two young lovers and Damson Young (15), Hetty Hodgson (15) and Lily Tyler (15) produced three humorous and hugely apt housewives of Grover's Corners.

Kathryn concluded, 'I was extremely impressed by their mature and adult approach to the text and their willingness to work hard to improve and deepen their character understanding. The play was staged in four weeks and impressed its audience each night. Even a member of the audience who came from New Hampshire was complimentary about the accurate use of the accent! It was a pleasure to work with such a talented and committed cast and crew. '

Our Town is also a GCSE set text for next years' Fifth Form.

Our Town - Photo 1Our Town - Photo 2Our Town - Photo 3
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