Back to basics for school's `Our Town'


January 16, 2002|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

OUR TOWN, a three-act play that finds a great message in the pleasure of small-town living, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at North Carroll High School.

The play will be presented in the original script by Thornton Wilder that won the Pulitzer Prize when first published in 1938. It is set in Grover's Corner, N.H., in about 1900.

Each act is a snapshot. There's young Emily Webb, then her marriage to George Gibbs, who is a childhood friend who aspires to be a farmer, and finally the wistful recollection of life after her premature death.

At her gravesite, she meets the spirits of neighbors who also have passed on, and is allowed to return for one last look at her family. She chooses her 12th birthday, Feb. 11, 1899. This happy day is a window to Emily's discovery that the commonplace, such as sunflowers and coffee, sleeping and waking, is wonderful.

Maggie Wunderlich, a senior in the high school Drama Club, is directing the play.

"The third act is the shortest but most intense," Maggie said. "I chose this play because I love the message it brings, how no one appreciates everything while they are living it."

Emily Webb is played by Becky Corbin. George Gibbs is played by Nathan Kurtz. Mrs. Webb, Emily's mother, is played by Coralee Quinn. Mr. Webb, her newspaper editor father, is played by Nick McCourt.

The narrator, who has the enormous task of stage manager of the snapshot scenes and philosopher pulling the story together, is Danny Schwemmer. The cast includes 30 additional drama club members.

Assistant director is Jeff Hann, also a senior.

"The play uses minimal sets, relying on listening and dialogue. North Carroll [drama club] hasn't done a show like this before. The audience is supposed to use their own imagination and actively listen to life's lessons that are presented through actors' dialogue," Wunderlich said.

Wunderlich relies upon interesting lighting and sound effects and ladders to represent the second floor of homes.

Presenting a play without props and sets has challenged the drama club.

"They've been forced to develop the characters more and get more intense. It's been quite an exercise in character development," Wunderlich said.

Tickets are $5 on sale during lunch at the school and at the door.

North Carroll High School is off Hampstead-Mexico Road in Hampstead.

Information: 410-751-3450.

Winter safety for seniors

Ice and snow can be dangerous.

A talk on "Avoiding Winter Accidents and Winter Safety for Seniors" will be given at 10:30 a.m. today at North Carroll Senior Center by a member of Carroll County General Hospital speaker's bureau.

The center is at 2255 Hanover Pike. Information: 410-239-6400.

Collecting food is a contest

Pupils at Shiloh Middle School are collecting nonperishable food for the pantry at North East Social Action Program Inc. Donations are counted by homeroom each month. The room donating the most wins a pizza lunch from the PTO.

Last month, Cynthia Dukes' homeroom collected 390 canned goods, a substantial part of the 1,388 collected by the school for the month.

The canned food drive will take place through June.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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