|by Thornton Wilder
directed by Kim Walsh
Show dates: Nov. 27 - Dec. 1 @ 7:30pm
Dec. 1 @ 2pm
Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
|About the Play
The people of Grovers Corners, a small New Hampshire town, are intimately and profoundly presented in this deeply moving classic of the American theatre. Performed on a mostly bare stage, actors mime most of the actions of the characters' lives, only to highlight later just how full their lives actually were. At times deeply emotional and poetic, this play also showcases the talents of a large cast through creative staging, down-home nostalgia and sly humor.
|About the Playwright
Thornton Wilder was an American playwright and novelist who won three Pulitzer Prizes throughout his illustrious career: one for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and the plays The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town. He was also a U.S. National Book Award winner for his novel The Eighth Day. Wilder's play The Matchmaker was later adapted into the hit musical Hello Dolly.
|About the Director
Kim Walsh has been acting, directing and teaching theatre throughout the country and abroad for over twenty years. She has taught from Lugano, Switzerland to South East Los Angeles, as well as at the Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and at Kaiser Permanente, where she was director for Theatre Workshop. Some of her recent directing credits include the UC San Diego undergraduate production of The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and Other People and Sin Eaters for the Wagner New Play Festival. As a performer she has appeared in film, television and regional theatres including the Signature Theatre in New York and locally at La Jolla Playhouse, where she was in the original productions of Fortinbras by Lee Blessing (awarded Time Magazine’s Best 10 Plays of the Year) and the musical Elmer Gantry, directed by Des McAnuff. She was a founding member of the Elysium Theater Company in New York, where she performed in many classic and existential German plays including Hinkemann, Fun and Games at the Barbershop and Offending the Audience. On film and in television she has been seen in Secret Santa, Cannon Fields and Rapunzel (WGBH-Boston), as well as numerous commercials.
There is so much cruelty and inequity in our world today (Sexism and sexual harassment, police brutalities, immigrant exclusion & wall building, the vilifying of others based on race, religion and gender/sexual orientation). I find myself looking for inspiration, for community in a divided society so numbed from its lack of human compassion. Where can we find healing, solid ground upon which to stand when “truth” is often not connected to fact, when respect to one’s very identity is challenged and battered?
When thinking of working on a show with our undergrads Our Town, by Thornton Wilder is the play that keeps speaking to me. Our Town could also be titled: How to be a Human.
Our Town can change lives. It can awaken our awareness of what’s it like to be a fully realized human being, with all of its wonder as well as its difficulties. Wilder’s 1938 play speaks to and highlights the awareness of the beauty of daily life, love and death in a groundbreaking style that brings the audience in on the creative process. Wilder grew tired of a theatre that numbed audiences into the comfort of the drawing room comedy. He changed the landscape of the American Theatre by challenging audiences to fill in scenery with their imaginations, breaking the fourth wall, using the character of the Stage Manager as Greek Chorus intermingling with past, present and future.
Our Town can heal. The day after 9/11 Joanne Woodward woke up and decided that she had to produce Our Town at her theatre in Connecticut. The production moved to Broadway with packed houses. People need it. Edward Albee called Our Town “The finest serious American play for its breathtaking statement of what it is to be alive, the wonder and hopeless loss of the space between birth and the grave.”
One of the many gifts Wilder provides in his play is the revelation of the beauty of the ordinary, of the sublime, of the mystical! His text is a celebration, a meditation, an instruction manual to being fully present in all things human. This is the Wilder challenge.
I envision a Grover’s Corner that looks very much like America today: a beautiful multicultural mosaic that celebrates people of many colors, ethnicities, gender identities. I would like to set the play in the recent past using modern dress so that the audience doesn’t respond to it as a period piece, thus distancing themselves. Wilder wrote Our Town about 25 years from the time it was set, so that the effect is looking back on the not too distant past.
Stage Manager - Elijah Douglas
Frank Gibbs - Mrigank Khema
Julia Gibbs - Farah Dinga
George Gibbs - Roberto Perez Kempton
Rebecca Gibbs - Rosie McConnell
Emily Webb - Micaela Martinez
Wally Webb - Liam Walsh
Myrtle Webb - Kirstiana Rosas
Charles Webb - August Robinson
Joe/Si Crowell - Charlie Sale
Howie Newsome - Trevor Rinzler
Professor Willard - Sebastion Clark
Simon Stimson - Teagan Rutkowski
Louella Soames - Tiffany Raditch
Constable Warren - Ryan Martinez
Sam Craig - Matthew Klimper
Joe Stoddard - Simon Martin
Sophia Erlich, Sophia Harris, Chloris Li, Hannah Folk, Jake Sutton, Ben McLaren, Jintao Lei, Joshua Kim
|The Creative Team
Director – Kim Walsh
Scenic Designer – Michael Wogulis
Costume Designer – Samantha Englander
Lighting Designer – Eunice Kim
Sound Designer – Justin Livengood
Production Stage Manager – Nicholas Lambros Smith
Asst. Stage Managers – Rebekah Fegan
|Performances||Parking & Location
Located at: Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.
Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.
Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays
Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.
|7:30 pm OPENING
7:30 pm CLOSING
Advance tickets for this production are available Tuesday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.
At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office.
General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10
Please note: No late seating; no refunds.
Theatre & Dance Faculty, Staff & Majors Only >>
UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Dr. MC0344, La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791 Fax: (858) 534-1080