This fall, Thornton Wilder’s classic play OUR TOWN gets a fresh interpretation with the Saint Sebastian Players. Director Jim Masini shared why he felt drawn to retelling this foundational script right now.
BTD: What has kept this classic play relevant for today’s audience?
Masini: This Pulitzer Prize winning script deals with the actual “stuff” of life, the growing up, the marrying, the raising of a family, and the dying – all within the context of a small fictional New Hampshire town in 1900. That somewhat “exotic” context, however, is used by an omniscient Stage Manager to break the fourth wall and invite the audience to consider its own views of life and death.
BTD: How has the Saint Sebastian community come together to make this production happen?
Masini: We had a tremendous response to our auditions, with many of the applicants sending cover letters detailing their own personal connections to the play. Once rehearsals began, it quickly became clear that whole cast shared that same sense of ownership of the show.
BTD: Has there been a moment in rehearsal that you’re particularly proud of?
Masini: We spent a good deal of time in early rehearsals working through the text, line by line. After working through one particular section, we went around the room letting each actor relate a story from their own life that that section brought back to them. It was a revealing way to bond the group together for our common purpose of making our presentation of this show as powerful as possible.
Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, directed by Jim Masini. Saint Sebastian Players, 1625 W Diversey Parkway, (773) 404-7922, saintsebastianplayers.org, $25. Through November 17th.