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5 Stars for ‘Our Town’ and Theatre RC

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Written by Emma Grosskopf

When to I spoke to Kim Dalton (who played the emotional Mrs. Soames) while the Our Town rehearsals were still in progress, she told me that it was a good choice for Theatre RC because it was a relatively well-known, popular play by Thornton Wilder.

Because I am apparently either uncultured OR a moron and a half (potentially both), I have never, ever heard of it. I wouldn’t know Thornton Wilder if I hit him with a car, I never read Our Town in high school, no English teacher ever recommended it to me, and before I saw the RC production, I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about Grover’s Corners.

And then I went to the performance.

First of all, I want to say that Theatre RC does not get nearly enough credit for how talented they are. The RC student body tends to idolize athletes and Greek life, but there isn’t nearly enough appreciation for what goes on in Olin, and in this case, the theatre department.

This three-act powerhouse took us through the stages of life, from birth and early beginnings to love and marriage to death and grief, and let me tell you, I FELT IT. Every bit of it.

Each character was played so convincingly, and with the help of a minimalistic stage setup and limited prop use, I could let my imagination bring me through the sleepy little town of Grover’s Corners.

That was the best part for me, the imagination. I could see the sun coming over the mountains, and I could imagine the town’s layout when Adeline Huggins (the narrator) was describing it to me. I could feel the rain in Act Three at the funeral, and I am not ashamed to say that Shamira and I were sniffling in the back of the auditorium. When the play was over, it was made known to us, rudely, that we were the only ones crying.

Typical.

No matter what though, I am consistently blown away by the talent of the Arts departments, and what’s more, their humility. After the show, I told Joseph Swift, Tess Weidenkopf and some of the other actors that I was MOVED, and they were all so humble and appreciative. It boggles my mind that those auditorium seats weren’t all filled.

Theatre RC is home to lots of older, more seasoned talent, but also a place for new talent to bud. Even though I’m going to be graduating in May, I’m going to be really excited to see the program grow, and I will be elbowing people out of the way to get my seat for the spring performance.