Thornton Wilder’s Our Town Produced at The Gunnery
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, presented by The Gunnery Dramatic Society the weekend of November 10, 11, & 12 was a moving and well-mounted production.
As we were leaving the theater, an audience member commented that she “had not been to a better production.” The minimal staging and stark lighting allowed the actors plenty of room to exhibit their considerable talents and the stage manager, Christian Kummer ’18, whose monologues, although cut to reduce production length, were still very long, and pitch perfect as he walked into and out of the play-within-a-play, speaking freely to the audience.
Gunnery seniors, Brendon Vejseli, Ollie Williams, Eva Jones, Lexi Nanavaty and Max Italiaander were honored for their contributions to The Society at the Thursday performance. The protagonists, a young couple, falling in love and, at length, after marriage, separated by death were played by Nanavaty and Vejeseli. The town’s newspaper editor, and Nanavaty’s father Charles Webb was played by Robert Taylor ’18, her mother by Sabryna Coppola ’18. Williams and Jones played Vejseli’s’s parents, Clare Costello ’18, his sister.
Additional townspeople who brought the story of the small town to life are the gossipy threesome including the alcoholic choir director Stimson, played by Halo award winner Gabby Lescadre ’18, Louella Soames played by Lois Bachman ’19, and Anne Weston played by Bella Byrne ’18. Sam Johnson ’19 played both Nanavaty’s’s brother who died from a burst appendix and Joe Crowell who delivered newspapers and died in WWI. Marcos Guerrero-Gomez ’18 played the milkman, Aurora Aviles ’20, the paper girl, and Italiaander, the undertaker. Cansu Dilek ’19 played Mary Elizabeth Forbes.
Director Elizabeth Hawley Dayton ’08 led the adult production team of Al Chiapetta, Technical Director and Set Construction, Oksana Protenic, Character Development, Sarah Albright, Producer, and Terry Hawley, Costume Design and Stage Props.
Written in 1938, Our Town takes place in a small town between 1900 and 1913. Director Dayton, commented, “So many of the themes are so relevant today and especially recognizable in a small town like Washington.” An actual antique map of Washington was used as a stage prop for the stage manager to set the vision for the play.
If you missed the performance, you can watch it here and see more photos here.
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.