17 April 2010

Our Town

The other day, I attended the opening night performance of Our Town with a friend. I haven't seen this play before, and I never knew what it was about until the other night.

I think I enjoyed it, and it seems that the cast followed the play to the littlest detail as described by Thornton Wilder. At first, I thought that the set was so minimal, and the actors were just miming their daily activities instead of using actual props. But apparently, that is the intention of the playwright. In fact, there was a scene where two teenagers were talking through their second-floor windows, and this was just simulated by means of two ladders, where the actors climbed them up and then chatted.

I also like the meta-theatre aspect of it. There is a character named "Stage Manager", and one can somehow confuse her character as to whether she is part of reality, or part of the play itself. Some characters were also implanted in the audience, since in the first act, there was a panel discussion, and actors in the audience started talking and shouting. That was nice. I liked that effect.

All in all, I liked the way Our Town was produced. It was a simple play that portrayed the ups and downs of family life in early America, but it was complex as well as all the conflict rests in the heads of the characters, which makes for good psychological fiction.

(Well Panorama, from my University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Series)


  1. ... and each time I hear your review of a play or going to theater, I vow I'll go to.

  2. Zhu,

    Then you should! It's fun!