2012 - 2013 Season > Our Town
Photo courtesy Mick Anderson
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Dec. 7 - 23, 2012
Our Town
by Thornton Wilder
Tricia Drevets, director

Arguably the quintessential American play, Our Town is as fresh and honest today as it was when it debuted in 1938. With Thornton Wilder's profound, yet lyrical language, this Pulitzer Prize-winner weaves the story of everyday small town life with the greater themes of love and loss. The play's timeless message is one of loving each other and living in the moment because, in the end, that is all we really have. This December, come home to Our Town.

Our Town Director’s Notes

I first saw Thornton Wilder’s Our Town as a televised production. It wasn’t one of the cheesy Hollywood movie versions, but a stage production that was filmed. To put it simply, it blew me away.

As a young girl growing up in a small town in Virginia, I felt a kinship with Emily and the people of Grover’s Corners. What is more, as a schoolgirl actress with stars in her eyes about Broadway, I loved Thornton Wilder’s blunt honesty about life and loss and the way he blasted the stage’s “fourth wall” wide open. Even though the play was four decades old at that time, it seemed current and relevant to me.

When I thought about directing another play for Barnstormers, I thought of Our Town. I hadn’t read the play in years, and I wondered if it would feel as fresh and important to me today. I poured over the play last fall and winter, reading and studying it. To my delight, I loved it even more. Life’s experiences and time made me relate more to Mrs. Webb than to Emily this time around, but aside from that, I still felt a closeness with the people in the play, and I wanted to know more about them. More importantly, I still felt the play has an important message – one of living and loving in the moment and appreciating life as we live it.

Wilder gave us a timeless classic with this play. And, as with other classics, this play is strong enough to not only withstand a few tweaks in casting and staging here and there, but to emerge all the stronger from those changes. For example, hearing the inspiring words of the Stage Manager – traditionally played by a man -- interpreted and spoken by a woman has been an exciting part of this process.

It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with my talented, creative and dedicated cast and crew, and we all hope you enjoy your visit to Our Town and go home thinking a little more about what is really important in this life we live.

This production of Our Town is dedicated to my son, Paul, who was one of the few human beings to “ever realize life while they live it – every, every minute” and who taught his mother to try her hardest to do the same in his memory.

Cast in order of appearance

Barbara Jackson (Stage Manager) Barbara believes that community theater plays an important part in the life and vibrancy of a town and loves what this theater consistently offers our town. Earlier this year, she played the role of Lucy Stark in Camelot Theater’s All the Kings Men. Her last show with Barnstormers was a couple of years ago when she played Auntie Hannah in A Child's Christmas in Wales. Barbara wishes you all a happy holiday season and hopes you will join us as a part of our company soon.

William Babishoff (Dr. Gibbs) William is a former radio and television host but is new to the stage. He studies acting at Rogue Community College and is an active member of Imagine at Barnstormers as well as The Old Time Radio Players here in Grants Pass. William feels very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful play, and would like to thank the director, Tricia Drevets, for the opportunity to perform for you.

Jacob Weber (Joe Crowell/Si Crowell/Baseball Player) Jacob, who is 12-years-old, is performing in his third Barnstormers production. He last performed in Enemy of the People as Morten. Jacob enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. He also loves performing, and is happy to be a part of this production.

Otus Wright II (Howie Newsome/Baseball Player) Otus is an aspiring entertainer from Portland, Oregon. Upon moving to Grants Pass, Otus has pursued acting through Barnstormers. He started by participating in the theater’s Imagine group and later took an acting workshop taught by Tricia Drevets. He is honored to have an opportunity to develop his talents, and he has expressed interest in voice acting, as well as music.

Elise Epstein- Mrs. Gibbs) Elise first read this play less than a year ago and was deeply moved by it. She is both pleased and honored to be portraying the meaningful role of Mrs. Gibbs. You may have seen Elise on our stage as Louise in Rocket Man or Florence Thomas in Child's Christmas in Wales. She hopes the beauty of Our Town touches your heart as much as it does hers.

Ronda Bagley (Mrs. Webb) Ronda has been a familiar face to local theatergoers for many years. She was last seen on the Barnstormer stage as Felicia in I Hate Hamlet. her favorite roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Abigail in The Crucible and Sylvia, in Sylvia. When not on stage, Ronda can be found working in her garden, scrap booking, or working as a kindergarten instructional assistant. She is thrilled to be appearing in this production of Our Town and feels that this sweet story has a timeless message

David Kruse (George Gibbs) David has been involved in theater for about six years. In 2006, he took on the lead role in Faith, Family, and Freedom and a couple years later he performed in the musical It's a Grand Night for Singing. In 2010, he was in the ensemble of RMT's musical production of The Wizard of Oz and he was in Grants Pass High School's 2011 musical Fiddler on the Roof. David competed in the NCFCA Speech and Debate league 2007- 2011 and made it to the National Tournament two years in a row with his interpretive speeches. He's very excited to have a leading role in Our Town at Barnstormers.

Christiana Drevets (Rebecca Gibbs) Christiana has been involved in Barnstormers both onstage and backstage since the 2006 production of The Hobbit when she was seven. Since then, she has been in several productions (including A Christmas Carol where she played The Ghost of Christmas Past), Scene It workshops, and backstage crews (including On Golden Pond) Her hobbies include swimming on the Grants Pass YMCA swim team, going to her youth group, and playing basketball and football. She is happy to be involved in such an amazing play with a great cast and crew. She hopes you enjoy the show.

Quentin Kanta (Wally Webb) Quentin is very happy and eager to be returning to Barnstormers. His most recent show at Barnstormers was a Scene It acting workshop production. He has been involved in many Brighton Academy school plays that have been performed on the Barnstormers stage, including The Prince and the Pauper. This is his first community play at Barnstormers. Outside of his life as Wally Webb, Quentin likes to listen to music. Quentin thanks his Dad, Mom, Karen and Kari and sends a big, special thanks to Tricia Drevets, his wonderful director.

Haley Clasby (Emily Webb) Haley is excited to be in this production. She has done a lot of acting over the years -- since 6 years of age in fact. Most recently she was the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods Jr. at New Hope Christian School where she is a sophomore. She is excited about playing a character who doesn't have to wear an apron and a bonnet. After she graduates, Haley plans to major in voice with a theater/musical theater minor. She would like to thank her family, friends and boyfriend for their support.

Janet (Jan) Lane (Professor Willard) Janet has loved Our Town, a timeless classic, since seeing her mother in the play in a Teacher's College production when Jan was ten years old. Seven years later, Jan was cast as Emily in a University of Wyoming version of the play. In college, she also played Maria in Twelfth Night and was in Time of our Lives, Cradle Song, Dear Ruth, and Skylark. At Barnstormers, Jan played Mrs. Anthrobus in Skin of our Teeth. As a retired librarian, she spends her time volunteering, mostly at the Josephine Community Library and Three Rivers Hospital Auxiliary.

Mike Vest (Mr. Webb) This show is Mike's first production with Barnstormers. He has performed in many productions on the Oregon Coast. Little Shop of Horrors, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Fantastiks and Spider Baby the Musical are his favorites. He thanks his dear friend Kathleen for all her continuing love and support.

Tom O'Donnell (Simon Stimson/Man in Audience) Tom’s theater experience includes a happy association with The Gull Players, in Gold Beach, Oregon, 30 years ago. He played roles in A Christmas Carol, I Knock at the Door and On Golden Pond there. He has high regard for all the talented people at Barnstormers Theatre, and he is privileged to be working with Tricia Drevets and the entire cast of Our Town.

Anita Crew (Mrs. Soames/Woman in Audience) Anita is a newcomer to Barnstormers and theater. She has always been interested in performing and took the Adult Acting Workshop at Barnstormers last April. She had so much fun in the class playing Cecily, in a scene from The Odd Couple , that she decided to finally audition. She is excited to be part of the community theater family and thanks director Tricia Drevets for giving her a chance to act.

Jeffery Corcovelos (Constable Warren) Jeffery is new to Barnstormers and is excited to be involved in the production of Our Town. He is currently attending Rogue Community College and has participated in Improvisational Theater Class there. He gives special thanks to Tricia Drevets for the opportunity to be in this play!

Daniel Pierce (Sam Craig/Baseball Player/Crew Stage Manager) For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away - James 4:14. To Daniel, life is a precious thing, and he has been overjoyed to make theater a part of it for the past four years. Daniel also enjoys attending church, photography, friends, family, singing, dancing, juggling and drinking phosphates at the pharmacy. Many thanks go to Tricia, our director, for being wonderful and for allowing him to be a part of this wonderful show and family. He considers it a great honor and privilege to work with our fantastic cast and crew. He hopes to see you in the green room after the show. "Have a very Merry Christmas, and enjoy your visit to Grover's Corners!"

Richard Haack (Joe Stoddard) Richard has played many roles on the Barnstormers stage over a period of many years. He especially likes being in plays during the holiday season.

Jessica Weber (Ensemble/Crew) Jessica is 10 years old. She has been in two other Barnstormers productions: The Butterfingers Angel and Enemy of the People. Jessica enjoys dancing and acting. Jessica is thankful for this opportunity to be back at Barnstormers performing and hopes everyone enjoys the show.

Emma Kruse (Ensemble/Crew) Emma has always had a passion and love for acting and theater. Over the past six years, she has been a part of Speech and Debate Club, NCFCA, where she has competed in multiple tournaments, placing high in her Interps. She last competed in June in Nationals in Minnesota. She loved speech and learned so much from it that she wanted to do theater -- to really get herself out there, even if it meant just getting chorus parts or helping back stage. She is super excited about working back stage, and learning more about theater.

Tricia Drevets (Director/Artistic Lady in the Audience) Tricia is proud to be working with this talented and dedicated group of people on one of her favorite plays, Our Town. She previously directed On Golden Pond and The Diary of Anne Frank, for which she was named best director by Sneak Preview, Tricia enjoys appearing onstage at Barnstormers as well. Some of her favorite roles here include: Claire in A Delicate Balance, Rose in Enchanted April, Charlotte in Moon Over Buffalo, and Vivian in Wit, the last two of which roles earned her being named Sneak Preview’s best actress,