Press Release: "Our Town"
South Coast Repertory Presents Thornton Wilder's Classic Our Town
Part of a Nationwide Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Wilder’s Birth
COSTA MESA, Calif. (April 15, 2022)—Thornton Wilder called Our Town his favorite play out of all his works. And South Coast Repertory (David Ivers, Artistic Director and Paula Tomei, Managing Director) is producing Wilder’s American classic May 7-June 4 on the Segerstrom Stage. SCR is the only Southern California theatre producing one of Wilder’s seminal works during this, the 125th anniversary of Wilder’s birth.
Our Town begins May 7, 1901, not coincidentally, the same month and day SCR’s production opens. Life has begun in the fictional town of Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire. Milk is being delivered. Breakfast is on the stove. We meet the town gossips, the boys who play baseball and the choirmaster with a secret sorrow. And soon, teenagers George Gibbs and Emily Webb will go from friends to puppy love to wedding day and beyond—two families forever joined together.
“Just as the characters in Our Town come to terms with the meaning of their lives, this Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic beautifully celebrates our own shared humanity,” Ivers said. “Wilder’s work reveals that the need for community is universal, not bound by the constraints of time, place or period. And as we grapple with the effects of a worldwide pandemic, we feel the need for community with deeper urgency. In this way, Our Town remains indelible; a masterpiece of writing in its reflection of who we are, who we hope to be and how intimately we are intertwined.”
Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee called Our Town, “The greatest American play ever written.” Wilder (1897-1975) won one of his three Pulitzer Prizes for writing Our Town. He is the only American writer to earn Pulitzers for both Drama and Fiction. Wilder won a second Pulitzer in Drama for The Skin of Our Teeth. He earned his Pulitzer in Fiction for The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Along with being a celebrated man of letters, Wilder spoke four languages, taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard, wrote the first draft of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Shadow of a Doubt and wrote the libretto for a pair of operas: Paul Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner and Alcestiad by Louise Talma, which was based on Wilder’s play.
During World War II, Wilder served in the Army Air Force Intelligence Department. He earned the Bronze Star, the Legion d’honneur and the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
“We are truly excited to join our colleague theatres from around the nation in celebrating this milestone anniversary of a remarkable artist and human being,” Tomei said.
Directed by Beth Lopes, who directed SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences and Families productions of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook and The Velveteen Rabbit, Our Town features SCR Founding Member Hal Landon Jr. as the Stage Manager. It is Landon’s first SCR role since he wrapped up his iconic, 40-year run as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol in December 2019.
Wilder himself, played the Stage Manager for two weeks during the play’s original 1938 production.
Joining Landon in the cast are Evan Lugo (George Gibbs), Grace Morrison (Emily Webb), Corey Jones (Dr. Frank Gibbs), Kwana Martinez (Julia Gibbs), Elyse Mirto (Myrtle Webb), Michael Manuel (Charles Webb), Paul Culos (Howie Newsom), Mikayla Conley (Rebecca Gibbs),Moses Villarama(Professor Willard),Brad Culver (Simon Stimson),Jo Lopez (Sam Craig), Michael William Gomez (Joe Stoddard), Nicole Erb (Mrs. Soames), Lester Purry (Constable Warren) and Saul Gutierrez (Wally Webb/Joe Crowell Jr./Si Crowell).
The creative team includes Deborah Wicks La Puma, music director; Anna Jennings, dramaturg; Efren Delgadillo, set designer; Katie Wilson, costume designer; Karyn Lawrence, lighting designer; John Nobori, sound designer; Muriel Montgomery, assistant director; Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting; and Kathryn Davies, production stage manager.
Our Town received generous support from Honorary Producers Sophie and Larry Cripe, John and Laura Drachman and Jolene and Mark Peterson. Haskell & White LLP is the corporate honorary producer.
Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $26-$93, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatregoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online or by phone at (714) 708-5555. More information is available at www.scr.org.
Related Information for Our Town
Performance Dates, Times
- Previews run Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 8 at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, May. 10-Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.
- Regular performances
Note: Friday, May 13 is an invitation-only performance.
- Evening Performances:
- Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 7:30 p.m.: May 18-19, May 25-26, June 1-2
- Fridays, Saturdays, at 8 p.m.: May 14, May 20-21, May 27-28, June 3-4
- Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.: May 14, May 21, May 28, June 4
- Sundays at 2 p.m.: May 15, May 22, May 29
- Evening Performances:
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, May 21, at 2:30 p.m.
- Post-Show Discussions: Tuesday, May 10 (Director/Designer Conversation with Director Beth Lopes and members of the design team); Wednesday, May 18 (Actor Conversation with cast members); Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26 (Performance Perspective discussing the theme of Our Town); Wednesday, June 1 (Deep Dive, where audience members share their thoughts about the play in a respectful discussion hosted by SCR’s artistic staff); Friday, May 3 (Playwright/Dramaturg Conversation with Dramaturg Anna Jennings). All discussions take place after the play on the Segerstrom Stage.
- Inside the Season: Saturday, May 21 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into SCR’s production of Our Town, Segerstrom Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
Upcoming Productions: Tiger Style! May 15-June 5. Mozart & Salieri (a collaboration with the Pacific Symphony), May 19-21. Million Dollar Quartet (Outside SCR at Mission San Juan Capistrano) July 30-Aug. 21.
Complete information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The [email protected]—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org