New Jersey Stage

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ROWAN TAKES OUR TOWN TO WAR IN NEW PRODUCTION OF WILDER'S CLASSIC PLAY

(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– Putting an original spin on a classic American drama, the Department of Theatre & Dance at Rowan University brings out the darker themes of Thornton Wilder's Our Town in a unique production running October 29-November 7, 2010. Performances are Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm in Tohill Theatre on the Glassboro campus.

This legendary play explores human nature through the daily lives - love, marriage, death and loss - of people in a quintessentially American town at the start of the 20th Century. Rowan's production moves beyond the more well-known approaches to examine what might have shaped Wilder's storytelling.

"I think the playwright was at something else," director Lane Savadove states, reflecting on his own research into Wilder's influences, such as his experiences during World War I.

"One goal is to take a play we're familiar with and make it essential again," he says.

Set in a bombed-out church during World War I, Rowan's Our Town becomes a "play-within-a-play" as the chaplain of a rag-tag New Hampshire regiment leads a reenactment of life back home as they deal with issues of misery, mortality and more.

The cast features Dexter Anderson of Salem (MA) as Howie Newsome, Chris Bratek of Mullica Hill as George Gibbs, Roshawn Briscoe of Wilmington (DE) as Joe Stoddard, Felix Cori of Sewell as Mr. Webb, Carly Dufford of Jackson as Mrs. Gibbs, Dane Eissler of Franklinville as Prof. Willard/Wally Webb, Jade Froeder of Williamstown as Mrs. Webb, Jaried Kimberley of Westville as Simon Stimson, Jenna Kuerzi of Mullica Hill as Emily Webb, Alex McCarty of Chatham as Sam Craig, A.J. Mendini of Buena as the Stage Manager/Chaplain, Michele Mizeski of Califon as Rebecca Gibbs, Bryan Neel of Westmont as Joe/Si Crowell, Juan Sanchez of Teaneck as Doc Gibbs and Katie Verde of Toms River as Mrs. Soams.

Savadove, a professor at Rowan and the award-winning founder and artistic director of Philadelphia's EgoPo Classic Theater, is joined by resident designers Bart Healy (set) and Robert Thorpe (lighting) as well as guest costume designer Brian Strachan in bringing this vision of the show to the stage.

Tohill Theatre is located in Bunce Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ. Tickets are $10, general admission; and $5 for seniors, non-Rowan students, Rowan staff & alumni. Rowan students are admitted free with valid ID. For tickets and information, visit www.rowan.edu/theatredance or call the box office at (856) 256-4545.