Review: ‘Our Town’ at Dominion High School

By Erin Mullins, Lake Braddock Secondary

If given the chance to look into the future and see how it ends, would you take it? Or would you prefer to live on in blissful ignorance? Likewise, if you reached the end and were allowed to relive one day, would you? Dominion High School challenges the fragility of life with their production of Our Town.

Written in 1934 by Thornton Wilder, Our Town is a three act play that revolves around the small town life of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. The audience is introduced to a variety of characters by the Stage Manager, who serves as an omnipresent storyteller of the lives and deaths of the town’s citizens. The length of the play stretches out over the course of twelve years, and each act is dedicated to life, love, and death respectively.

Josh Thomas brought life to his character George Gibbs, the “boy next door” and love interest of Emily Webb (Eleanor Walter). Thomas played off of his fellow actors well and carried high levels of energy throughout the entire show that enraptured the audience. His chemistry with Walter lead to an accurate representation of a budding relationship, and he captured the growth of his character as he developed from a carefree teenager to a hard-working and family oriented young man.

A constant onstage presence, Saskia Hunter (who played the Stage Manager) never let her character drop, consistently reacting to the events of the play as they unfolded, even when she was not actively participating in the scene. She easily formed a connection with the audience, and in doing so formed a bridge that allowed the audience to feel as though they were a part of the story themselves.

With the whole cast being onstage for the entirety of the play, the use of muted, blue lighting (Jamie Hunt, Kyra Yergin, Emanuel Irizarry, and Macy Crow) upstage helped section off what characters were a part of the scene and which were not. The use of sound (Kyra Yergin, Emanuel Irizarry, Macy Crow, and Eleanor Walter) created the unseen world in the heavily pantomimed show and defined the actions of the actors, which avoided any possible confusion the audience may have as to what was happening onstage.

Dominion High School’s performance of Our Town connected with the audience through subtle technical designs and heartfelt performances. The cast showed dedication to their individual roles and reinforced the importance of living even the most typical of days to the fullest.

[This review of the Dec. 1 performance at Dominion High School  is part of a series published in a partnership between Loudoun Now and The Cappies, a writing and awards program that trains high school theatre and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders.]

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