OUR TOWN Set To Open At The Actors' Gang 4/25
In this new American era of hope, fresh with the promise of new beginnings, The Actors' Gang is pleased to present Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Wilder's evocative play with its timeless themes of love and loss opens on Saturday, April 25 with performances continuing through May 30. Low-priced previews begin April 18.
Our Town explores the poignancy of everyday life in a quiet New England village in the early years of the 20th century. Its simplicity begins with its set - nothing but the raw stage, a few ladders, some lights, things you normally think nothing of. This timeless play is told through the eyes of the Stage Manager, who allows a girl named Emily to relive a day in her life, then stands back and watches. After exploring her town of Grover's Corners for its daily life, love and marriage, and finally life and death, Emily is left to ask, "Doesn't anyone ever realize life while they live it?" The original New York Times review in 1938 called Our Town," one of the finest achievements... profound, strange, unworldly significance... a hauntingly beautiful play." Since then, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Our Town has become an American stage treasure and is Wilder's most renowned and frequently performed play.
"The inherently theatrical nature of the piece lends itself perfectly to The Gang's unique performance style," says director Justin Zsebe. "It's a play that celebrates the small moments in life - the ones that make up our connections to one another. Our company commitment to performances grounded in deep human truth will give the actors, and hopefully our audiences, a chance to rediscover what it means to live in our own communities today - our own 'our towns.'"
Steven M. Porter heads the ensemble as the Stage Manager; Vanessa Mizzone is Emily Webb; Chris Schultz is George Gibbs; Nathan Kornelis is Dr. Gibbs; Annemette Andersen is Mrs. Gibbs; Katie Malia is Rebecca Gibbs; Lindsley Allen is Mrs. Webb; Andrew E. Wheeler is Mr. Webb; Pierre Adeli is Howie Newsome; Brian Kimmet is Simon Stimsom; and April Fitzsimmons is Mrs. Soames. Rounding out the cast in a variety of roles are Seth Compton; Scott Harris and Barry O'Neil. Set design is by Will Pellegrini; Lighting Design is by Jacqueline Reid; and Suzanne Scott designs the costumes.
Thornton Niven Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 17, 1897. His family lived in China for a time, and Wilder began writing as a boy. He finished high school in California, attended Oberlin College in Ohio, and received his undergraduate degree at Yale and his graduate degree at Princeton. Wilder spoke many languages and was exposed to many cultures and literatures. He circulated among great thinkers and writers, including Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Sigmund Freud, John dos Passos and Philip Barry. Wilder enlisted in the military during both world wars and used his extensive travels, lectures and writings to promote his ideas of freedom. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and was one of the few Americans to win the peace prize of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. By the time he died on December 7, 1975 at his home in Hamden, Connecticut, Thornton Wilder was an internationally famous playwright and novelist. To this day, his works are read, performed and appreciated by audiences worldwide. His most famous novel is The Bridge at San Luis Ray; his most well known plays are Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, Merchant of Yonkers and The Matchmaker, which was later musicalized as Hello, Dolly!.
The Actors' Gang, founded in 1982 by a group of renegade theater artists, has over 100 productions and more than 100 awards to its credit, and consistently wins acclaim for its daring interpretations of Shakespeare, Buchner, Brecht, Moliere, Aeschylus, Ibsen and Chekhov, while also developing bold new plays that address the world today through a prism of satire, popular culture, and raucous stagecraft. The Gang is currently touring nationally with Michael Gene Sullivan's adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, directed by the company's artistic director, Tim Robbins, and recently completed international dates in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and China. Other Actors' Gang productions that have toured to cities across the U.S include Tim Robbins' Embedded, Anne Nelson's The Guys, and Jessica Blank's and Erik Jensen's The Exonerated. The Actors' Gang actively reaches out to the community with its Free Summer-in-the-Park productions for families; Artist Residency in Local Schools program; by running lower, middle and high school after school programs with children from the community; by performing special matinees for local schools; by working with incarcerated populations with its Prison Program, and with accessibility
performances for the hearing- and sight-impaired.
Performances of the Our Town take place Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, April 25 through May 30. Previews take place Saturday, April 18 through Friday, April 24
on the same schedule. Tickets (reserved seating) are $15 for previews and $25.00 for performances, except Opening Night (April 25), for which tickets are $100.00 and include both a catered pre-show dinner and a post-show reception with the actors. Pay-What-You-Can tickets (general admission) are available at all Thursday evening performances when purchased at the door.
The Actors' Gang is located in the Ivy Substation at 9070 Venice Blvd. (near the intersection of Culver and Venice Blvds.) in Culver City. Two hours free parking is available throughout downtown Culver City; the Ince Parking Lot (corner of Culver and Ince) is directly across the street from the theater. In addition, several restaurants (Italian, French, Thai, Japanese, and more) are only a few blocks' walk from The Actors' Gang and offer a variety of dining options before and after the theater. The Ivy Substation is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call The Actors' Gang Box Office at 310-838-GANG (310-838-4264) or go to