“Our Town” at Lowell High

Last evening I attended an excellent performance of “Our Town”, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, at Lowell High School’s Little Theater. Under the direction of Sharon Bisantz, the Student Theater Company did a masterful job of presenting this classic that is set in a fictional New Hampshire town near Mount Monadnock. The “Director’s Note” in the play’s program explains why “Our Town” remains so popular.

What makes “Our Town” remarkable is how UNremarkable it is. There is limited (or no) set, lighting, costume or props. There are no complex characters and hardly a plot.

“Our Town” forces us to recognize the importance of the simple details of our daily lives. Not just to appreciate these seemingly unimportant moments, but to understand their connection to time and history.

We live in a world were multi-media has made the entire world a “virtual neighborhood”. We are continually connected with each other. But are we really?

The action of the play takes place in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. But as the name “Our Town” implies, it could just as easily take place where you are sitting right now.

Years ago I saw a performance of this play at the MRT but somehow, this Lowell High production was more poignant and will be more memorable. Perhaps it was the setting – you can’t get much more unadorned than the Little Theater. And the student-actors performed wonderfully. The final act, in a graveyard after many of the characters had died, featured the spirits of the deceased sitting in folding chairs staring vacantly out above the audience and discussing life as it was during their lives and after. These “spirits” speaking from the afterlife delivered the very clear message that the little things in life, the things we mindlessly do 365 days per year are important and should be appreciated as such.

2 Responses to “Our Town” at Lowell High

  1. Jerry Bisantz says:

    Richard, thanks so much for attending the production of “Our Town” at Lowell High. These kids worked very hard with a budget of next to nothing and created a real miracle. Kudos to all, and I am sure that they appreciate your kind words.
    Jerry B.

  2. Sharon Bisantz says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words about our show. I was so pleased that my students, living in this high-tech world, understood its simplicity, clarity and power. And just as thrilled that they were able to convey this to the audience. Thank you again for your support…..Sharon