Classic small town drama to premiere

Our Town production poster - Hesston College

Hesston College Theatre will present five performances of the fall drama, Thornton Wilder’s classic Our Town, directed by Laura Kraybill, Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 in the Northlawn Studio Theatre on the Hesston College campus.

Set in turn-of-the-century New England, Our Town is a celebration of small town American life and family values. The play tells of a community striving to maintain unity through the cycles of birth, marriage, death and societal change. The story focuses on two families within the community: the Gibbs and the Webbs, and their losses, romances and moments of rejoicing.

The play is introduced and narrated by the Stage Manager played by Hesston College President Howard Keim who welcomes the audience to the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, N.H, early on a morning in May in the year 1901.

“This production will incorporate sound in a unique way,” Kraybill said. “All sounds will be created live, from live music to sound effects. An array of sound effects makers will be visible by the audience, contributing to the constructed, imaginary world of the play.”

Kraybill explains that she chose Our Town because it is one of the most beautifully written American plays of the last century.

“Its message of the importance of family and community bonds is relevant to our increasingly fragmented lives,” Kraybill said. “Our production also offers an opportunity to broaden our own sense of community as actors from across the city work together.”

The production features Hesston City community members as well as students, instructors, and staff members. The play is suitable for all ages.

“The audience can expect another intimate theatre experience in our black box setting,” said Kraybill. “The intimacy will be even greater with this production, as actors move amidst the audience, even joining and speaking from the audience at times. This family friendly play will warm the heart and invite us to treasure the relationships we have.”

Show times are 7 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3 p.m. Nov. 2.

Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors and $5 for students and children. Free tickets are available for Hesston College students for the Nov. 1 matinee. Tickets can be purchased through the Hesston College Bookstore in person, by phone at 620-327-8105 or online at Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended. Tickets will also be available at the door 45 minutes prior to show time, subject to availability.