Written by Thornton Wilder
To be produced and directed by Mark Jones
Auditions on Sunday 27th January 2019 - 2pm at Chorley Little Theatre
Mon 29 April - Sat 4 May 2019 (inclusive) – at Chorley Little Theatre
Tuesdays (7.30-10pm), Fridays (7.30-10pm) and Sundays (12-4pm) – a full rehearsal schedule will be issued, once the play has been cast.
It was first produced in 1938, and went on to win the ‘Pulitzer Prize’ for literature, its reputation as an American classic has increased over the years. Every day in 2018 in America there was a production of this play being performed. What is it about? - Brooks Atkinson, in his review of Our Town's first performance, had this to say: "Mr. Wilder has transformed the simple events of human life into universal theme. He has given familiar facts a deeply moving, philosophical perspective. . . . Our Town is, in this columnist's opinion, one of the finest achievements of the current stage." And in the opinion our director - Mark Jones – ‘it still is’. Ultimately – one of the characters – ‘the Stage Manager’ sums it up - "This is the way we were, in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying”.
No set, no make-up, no props, no sound effects, no costume (you will not be naked - but no period costume I mean). But it will have live originally composed music – and YOU…. The actors. This production is about acting – you DO NOT need American accents – you will use your own voice/accent.
This will be Mark’s 14th production for CADOS, following on from ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ (2018), ‘Our House’ (2017), ‘Pals’ (2016), ‘The Final Problem’ (2015) ‘Breaking the Code’ (2014); ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ (2013), ‘Memory of Water’; ‘Oliver Twist’ (both 2011), ‘Blood Brothers’ (2010) ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (2007), ‘Amadeus’, ‘Half a Sixpence’ (both 2005) and ‘Great Expectations’ (2004).
Mark has also been Artistic Director of CADOS for the last 6 years.
The Auditions - Interested?
There is NO preparation to do before the audition – audition pieces will be provided on the day. However, here is a link to the full script if you want to read it ahead of the audition:-
About the Roles
Minimum age - You must have left secondary school.
So there are 18 characters in this play – some male, some female – some could be changed to male or female. Some could be doubled up - so you play a few characters. Age? Depends who turns up. The whole thing could be played by 18 year olds or by 80 year olds – depends who turns up. Turn up! We are keen for this production to be full of new people or people who haven’t been our stage for a while.
Stage Manager - The Stage Manager exercises control over the action of the play, cueing the other characters, interrupting their scenes with their own interjections, and informing the audience of events and objects that we cannot see.
George Gibbs - Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs’s son. A decent, upstanding young man, George is a high school baseball star who plans to attend the State Agricultural School after high school. His courtship of Emily Webb and eventual marriage to her is central to the play.
Emily Webb - Mr. and Mrs. Webb’s daughter. Emily is George’s schoolmate and next-door neighbor, then his fiancée, and later his wife. She is an excellent student and a conscientious daughter. After dying in giving childbirth, Emily joins the group of dead souls in the local cemetery and attempts to return to the world of the living. Her realization that human life is precious because it is fleeting is perhaps the central message of the play.
Dr. Gibbs - George’s father and the town doctor. Dr. Gibbs is also a Civil War expert. His delivery of twins just before the play opens establishes the themes of birth, life, and daily activity. He and his family are neighbours to the Webbs.
Mrs. Gibbs - George’s mother and Dr. Gibbs’s wife. Mrs. Gibbs’s desire to visit Paris—a wish that is never fulfilled—suggests the importance of seizing the opportunities life presents, rather than waiting for things to happen. At the same time, Mrs. Gibbs’s wish for the luxurious trip ultimately proves unnecessary in her quest to appreciate life.
Mr. Webb - Emily’s father and the publisher and editor of the town’s newspaper. Mr. Webb’s report to the audience in Act 1 is both informative and interactive, as his question-and-answer session draws the audience physically into the action of the play.
Mrs. Webb - Emily’s mother and Mr. Webb’s wife. At first a no-nonsense woman who does not cry on the morning of her daughter’s marriage, Mrs. Webb later shows her innocent and caring nature, worrying during the wedding that she has not taught her daughter enough about marriage.
Mrs. Soames - A gossipy woman who sings in the choir along with Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Gibbs. Mrs. Soames appears in the group of dead souls in Act III. One of the few townspeople we meet outside of the Webb and Gibbs families.
Simon Stimson - The choirmaster, whose alcoholism and undisclosed “troubles” have been the subject of gossip in the town for quite some time.
Rebecca Gibbs - George’s younger sister. Rebecca’s role is minor, but she does have one very significant scene with her brother.
Wally Webb - Emily’s younger brother. Wally is a minor figure, but he turns up in Act III among the group of dead souls. Wally dies young, the result of a burst appendix on a Boy Scout trip. His untimely death underscores the brief and fleeting nature of life.
Howie Newsome - The local milkman. Howie’s reappearance during every morning scene—once each in Acts I, II, and III—highlights the continuity of life in the town and in the general human experience.
Joe Crowell, Jr. - The paperboy. Joe’s routine of delivering papers to the same people each morning emphasizes the sameness of daily life in the town.
Si Crowell - Joe’s younger brother, also a paperboy. Si’s assumption of his brother’s former job contributes to the sense of constancy that characterizes the town throughout the play.
Professor Willard - A professor at the State University who gives the audience a report on the town. Professor Willard appears once and then disappears.
Constable Warren - A local policeman. Constable Warren keeps a watchful eye over the community. His personal knowledge of and favour with the town’s citizens bespeaks the close-knit nature of the town.
Sam Craig - Emily Webb’s cousin, who has left the town to travel west, but returns for her funeral in Act III. Though originally from the town, Sam has the air of an outsider.
Joe Stoddard - The town undertaker. Joe prepares Emily’s grave and remarks on how sad it is to bury young people. This statement emphasizes a theme that grows ever more apparent throughout the play and receives its most explicit discussion in Act III: the transience of human life.
If anyone has any questions or queries do not hesitate to contact the Director – Mark Jones on - 07877 111 248