Pulitzer Prize Winning Classic OUR TOWN is Up Next at CRT

Pulitzer Prize Winning Classic OUR TOWN is Up Next at CRTFor the fourth show in their 47th annual summer season - and for the first time in the theatre's history - Cortland Repertory Theatre proudly presents the Pulitzer Prize winning American classic Our Town written by Thornton Wilder. Performances will run from August 1st - 11th with evening show times at 7:30 PM. Matinees are available on August 3, 7 and 8 at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or at the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org. CRT cautions that this is the only approved online ticket service; other online sites charge significantly higher rates for tickets and are NOT approved by CRT.

Widely considered the greatest American play ever written, the audience follows the small New Hampshire town of Grover's Corners through three acts: "Daily Life," "Love and Marriage," and "Death and Eternity." Breathtaking in its simplicity, the play focuses on the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and start their own lives, which leads to one of the most famous scenes in American theatre. Touching and heartwarming, this play is a perfect fit for the intimacy of the Little York Pavilion stage. Detailed descriptive storytelling and minimal use of set pieces allow for a unique theatrical experience unlike any other play.

Directing this production is CRT's Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson, whose previous directing projects at CRT include Saturday Night Fever earlier this summer, last summer's Appointment with Death, and in previous years, Cards on the Table, 1776, Unnecessary Farce and others. Jason Sofge serves as Assistant Director. Sofge has appeared on the CRT stage in The Full Monty and 1776; this marks his first time at CRT in a director capacity.

The ensemble cast is comprised of actors familiar to CRT audiences as well as new faces. In the leading role of the Stage Manager, Jason Shipman returns having previously been seen earlier this summer in Rough Crossing, and in previous years in The 39 Steps, Cards on the Table and others. Dale Young returns to CRT to play Doc Gibbs; Young has previously appeared in Appointment with Death, Making God Laugh, The Hollow and others. Patrick Young, seen at CRT in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, plays Editor Webb. Jan Labellarte plays Mrs. Webb after appearing in Saturday Night Fever and Footloose, and Kyle Kniseley continues his CRT summer to portray church choir conductor Simon Stimson. Making their CRT debuts in this production are Catherine Gaffney as Mrs. Webb, Heather Arney as Emily Webb and Jack Cherry as George Gibbs. Local youth actors in the production include Lydia Andre and Willa Olshan, alternating the role of Rebecca Gibbs, along with Chase Patte as Wally Webb and Dylan Hart in the dual roles of Joe and Si Crowell. Local adult actors in the show include Doug Walls as Constable Warren, Rona Knobel as Mrs. Soames, Bob Finley as Joe Stoddard and Ingrid Fox as Miss Corcoran. The CRT intern company rounds out the cast with John Cavaseno as Howie Newsome, Jahmar R. Ortiz as Professor Willard and Mr. Carter, and Jacob Smith as Sam Craig, with Ian Domiquez Ball as Hugh and Farmer McCarty, Christian Henry as Fred, Camden Garcia as Bob, Stephanie Garofalo as Louise, Victoria Madden as Lizzie and Amanda Walker as Ernestina.

Stage Manager Timothy James leads the design and production team. Dana White Jr. serves as both the Scenic Designer and Technical Director for this production. Costumes are created by long-time CRT Costume Designer Wendi R. Zea, and Matthew Webb makes his debut as Lighting Designer. Continuing their work this season are Props Designer Andrew Carney and Sound Designer Seth Asa.

CRT continues "Friday Night Talk Backs" at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after select Friday evening performances. Tickets are also on sale for the final two productions in the summer season; Women in Jeopardy! which runs from August 15 - 25 and The Rat Pack Lounge, with performances held at CRT Downtown from August 29 - September 8.

Photo: Patrick White as Mr. Webb, Jan Labellarte as Mrs. Webb, Heather Arney as Emily Webb, Jason M. Shipman as the Stage Manager, Jack Cherry as George Gibbs, Catherine Gaffney as Mrs. Gibbs and Dale Young as Dr. Gibbs in a scene from Cortland Repertory Theatre's production of "Our Town".

Photos by Eric Behnke



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