High school to perform 'Our Town'
In most plays, an audience is asked to step outside of reality and be transported to another place and time.
However, in the New Albany High School drama production of Our Town, audience members are supposed to know what they're seeing.
"The audience is meant to know they are watching a play, in which the stage manager is an actual stage manager, guiding the cast and crew through the story and explaining that each character is not real but played by an actor," director Elliott Lemberg said. "Though this aspect of the play may sound disconcerting, it is incredibly evocative and powerful, lending the story an unprecedented force unavailable to more realistic endeavors.
"The stage manager also functions as player, assuming the role of various characters in the play, including Mr. Morgan the pharmacist and the minister at the wedding of George and Emily."
Junior Will Russell was chosen as the stage manager because of his previous experience, managing director Melissa Schill said.
"He's been in previous shows and has shown that he has a presence about him and a nice speaking voice that was perfect for the role," Schill said.
Our Town is a Pulitzer-prize winning play by Thornton Wilder about two families who live in a small, fictional New England town called Grover's Corners. Schill said there is not much scenery and the costumes are simple. Actors often do not use props and instead mime actions for the audience. Most of the actors do not leave the stage during the play.
Schill said one of the biggest challenges of the production was creating a stage that is 4 feet high in the back and just 6 inches high at the front, closest to the audience. It was built by technical director Jessica Nettler, who teaches high school physics.
"It gives the audience different sight perspectives of the actors on stage," Schill said.
The production includes 28 actors and other students who make up the stage crew. Schill said students who don't get a part in productions are asked to be part of the crew.
"They have equal participation to the actors on stage," she said.
Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, May 3-5, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts. Tickets, available at the door, are $7 for seniors, staff members and students and $12 for general admission.