Review submitted by Margarita Gamarnik of South Lakes High School.
Perhaps considered to be one of Thornton Wilder’s most evocative works,
Our Town at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School posed the question: “does
anybody ever realize life as they live it?” This play, written in 1938
and set over the course of several years in the early 20th century town
of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, follows an unorthodox structure,
complete with three acts and using metaphysical devices as well as a
minimal material set. With its many curious quirks, pantomime and
breaking of the fourth wall to name a few, Our Town has garnered a
popular following, being one of the most commonly produced American
The action of the play is driven by Parker Dymond as the Stage Manager,
who so smoothly transitions from narrating the sunrise of the early
morning to interacting with the characters within the show. With a
pleasant, rhythmic voice and motivated movements, Dymond was a master
storyteller, sticking with the audience through times of joy and sorrow,
and everything in between.
George Gibbs and Emily Webb, played by David Stevenson and Olivia
Kindfuller, respectively, expertly portrayed the development of their
tender relationship, from the earliest stages of innocent homework help.
Kindfuller immediately established Emily’s girlish characteristics while
also leaning into her confident persona, delivering outspoken monologues
and unapologetic remarks. Stevenson possessed a gentle demeanor that
complemented Kindfuller’s excitability, a genuine bond blossoming
between them. The sweet awkwardness, a sensation familiar to most who
have embarked into a new relationship, was tangible and sincere
throughout the first act when the lovebirds were just beginning to
realize their feelings for each other. A shift in the second act took
George and Emily’s puppy love to a deeper level, which Stevenson and
Kindfuller successfully reflected. A particularly memorable scene in
which Stevenson and Kindfuller’s masterful chemistry was highlighted was
the ice cream soda
shop. Marked by stolen glances, flirtatious hand movements, and
expressive body language, this moment of theatre was executed with
unparalleled honesty and commitment, a testament to the thoughtful
character work of Stevenson and Kindfuller.
Even when playing apart, the connection between the two leading actors
was powerful. In the tragic third act, Kindfuller strayed from the
self-assured character of Emily she established earlier, delivering a
heart-wrenching monologue before Stevenson broke down sobbing at her
feet. Both actors demonstrated significant emotional maturity throughout
the show which peaked in intensity in the final act. Telling a love
story as complex as George and Emily’s could not have been easy, and
Stevenson and Kindfuller not only fulfilled this task but did so with
The Gibbs and Webb family boasted mothers and fathers that supported
their subsequent children as well as shone individually. Caroline Milne
as Mrs. Gibbs displayed physical maternal instincts and possessed a soft
yet stern personality that was absolutely believable. As Mr. Webb,
Oliver Bush’s protective father front was weakened after his adorably
lighthearted interaction with Stevenson’s George on his and Emily’s
Charlotte Lobring as George’s sister, Rebecca Gibbs, brought a youthful
edge to the otherwise mature show with crisply delivered lines and
buouyant physicality. Lobring’s childlike vocal inflection contrasted
with her brother’s steady tone, creating a realistic sibling dynamic.
With quick quips and exaggerated gestures, Lobring showed off her
Another standout was Jonas Blum as Simon Stimson, proving
not only his comic knack as he helplessly conducted the church choir but
also his capabilities as a dramatic actor through assertive diction and
strong stillness in the graveyard scene.
The residents of Grover’s Corners enjoy the simple pleasures, with St.
Andrew’s lovely production proving no exception.
The Performance reviewed was from Saturday, 11/02/2019.
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