You might describe Our Town as both an ode to the ordinary and a reflection on what is sacred and meaningful about life's seemingly small moments. Under the direction of Fine & Performing Arts Department faculty member Donalee Ong, WRA students brought these themes to life in a poignant and beautiful performance.
Each cast member did their part to create an outstanding show. Noah Luch '20 as the Stage Manager wove in and out of the show, bringing a gentle, folksy narration that was comforting in its authorial instruction. Cast members Spenser Valentine '19, Noah Frato-Sweeney '20, Jill Reef '21 and Miranda Namiotka '20 played parental roles, seeming to age decades with subtle tone shifts and gestures. In his KFAC debut, Gehrig Namiotka delighted the audience with his cheeky delivery and big smile. Henry Ong '20 and Nadia Konovalchik '20 were captivating in their roles, portraying their characters with vulnerability and bravery in equal measure.
Our Town is a three-act play, written by Thornton Wilder, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his work. It traces the lives of people in the fictional town of Grover's Corners in the beginning of the 20th century. From the start, the pace of Our Town is unhurried. In the first act, the show seems to be snapshots from a time gone by. But what happens in Grover's Corners is all still familiar. The scenes that unfold in the town -- a father scolding his son for thoughtless behavior, a mother rushing her children off to school -- seem to be timeless moments shared among us all.
In this, there is an artful simplicity in this play. This was reflected in a bare-bones set design, which included a few carefully placed ladders, door frames, chairs and tables. It all worked well, and it gave the cast plenty of space to shine. It was designed by Bob Czup, WRA's very first Technical Director, who returned to KFAC for the show.
As the play moves through the acts, there are jumps in time and the characters experience the bigger events of life -- love, marriage, death. But there's beauty found in all of happenings, big and small, which is emphasized by Wilder's achingly lovely writing. His poetic musings of life's fleeting moments and the powerful bonds that tie us to each other make this a great show. But the talent and hard work of the cast, crew and director make it all the better.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Our Town for a job very well done. We look forward to KFAC's next performance.